Where do I begin...a few of you may already know, but for those of you who don't...I'll fill you in. A couple of months ago, my son started complaining of mild neck pain. It bothered him, but not so much to not play sports. As parents, we don't always know how to "make the call", when is it time to have things checked out?
My son plays catcher and looking up with that helmet on, we all figured it was neck strain. As the season progressed, I decided to call the doctor, it seemed to be bothering him more and more. She wanted us to do a heavy dose of Motrin, 2x a day for a week...and if it didn't get better, she wanted to take a look. He made all-stars, was so excited...but after the first tournament...the pain seemed to be a little sharper...and I wasn't going to let him go on without our doctor taking a look. We all "knew" it was a minor muscle strain....even she, our doctor was thinking this...we followed what we thought was perfect protocol.
24 hours after the x-ray...I got a call...she was in the process of scheduling a CT scan for the next day. She was making all the arrangements...my role was to get him there...they found an "incidental finding"...that was the term....my world went numb...we did the CT scan...but was unable to leave...we turned around and did CT #2 with contrast. I've had this done before, and I know what they are looking for.
How does a parent stay strong during this? My child was so vulnerable and if I could have swapped places with him...I would have in a heartbeat. 2 hours later, I had a phone call from the doctor...she had an appointment lined up the following day at Children's Hospital in Seattle.
Last Friday, a team of specialists....Tumor/Spine/Neuro/surgeons....met with us for a 4 hour consult...and surgery was quickly performed this last Monday.
Aneurysmal bone cyst
This is what it turned out being. Benign, but locates in senstive and dangerously close proximity to the spinal cord...My son's tumor did not cause damage to the spinal cord nor his main artery...the surgery from prep to finish was 5 hours. What it did do, was corrode the 3 vertabra, which is now replaced with 2 pins and donor bone. We had a very good outcome.
One of the very first posts I ever made was about my use of certain words. One was LOVE the other was GOD. I am one of those that does not throw either of those 2 words around lightly. I don't pray to win games, I don't love craft supplies....I really really like (LUV) craft supplies. I have always thought..."Say what you mean" and "Mean what you say".... I have to admit...sometimes, I have a hard time with both of those...I'm not the most articulate, and the analogies that I come up with at time...confuse people...but, that's me...it's that creative side of my brain...
I bring this up, because after all was said and done...I know God listened to all the prayers that were coming in my son's direction...
My son is home and mending quickly. He will be wearing a neck brace for 8 weeks, and doing some heavy duty TLC for about 6 months. There will be limitations in his future activity...no wrestling and most likely football...I'm not sure he knows that yet. I'll take it. This is the least of my concerns. We have 2 years of follow up, and we will get to know the trip to Seattle pretty well, especially for the next 6 months. (I already do, since we *typically* do a trade show there once a year).....all of that...is a non-issue...just me babbling...
Now...to LOVE....My love for my kids is so deep, as any and every Mom knows. My world stopped...without a doubt...my hardest hours in my life were spent in that waiting room Monday night. I know I'm not alone in this...there were "Moms" and "Dads" all over the hospital...and the outreach from friends (Laura, your support meant a lot to me) was huge. If not for my family too, especially my sister...
So...that was my week(s). It's been a very difficult Spring on so many levels...but, once again..."those" issues seem trivial....and that dang "perspective" surfaced. I've learned "perspective" before....(not necessarily "learned"...probably more "reminded" is a better term)...and I've been "reminded" perspective again. When it comes right down to it....there are only a couple of things in life that really matter. Perspective...ahhh
Today, this mom is thanking the brilliance and skill of the surgeons, the support of family and friends and thanking God for saving my son, who I love with all my heart.
Happy Birthday, my Dear Son...Double Digits!