Friday, March 10, 2006

The Diagnosis - 6th March '06

March 6th is a day that is as ingrained in my brain as are my childrens birthdays.

We went in to Dr C on Monday to get the results. His nurse stood next to Steven who was sitting on the table, and read these long, horrible words that I knew no one ever wants to hear. Stevens shoulders just sagged and he looked at the papers in his hands. I cannot imagine hearing those words at his age. I asked for it in plain english, understandable language, copeable language.

Steven interupted saying "so it is one of these leukemias." My heart broke. His world changed. My world changed. Everything changed. I cried, trying not to, knowing that I had to, but not too much. Just holding on. Steven sat reading the papers in his hand. Holding on in his way.

What happened to the days when a kiss and a band aid fixed things?

So we sat there, in shock, me quietly crying, Steven reading the papers he had in his hand, swallowing hard, not knowing how to go forward. The doctor came in and said that he was referring us to his own specialist up in Nashville, and that he had made the appointment for Wednesday 8th. Things were moving so fast.... too fast and yet too slowly. He sounded so casual, as if this was a normal day, that this diagnosis was not something to get all freaky about. This helped me tremendously, but also shook me up. How could something like this not be a weeping, wailing moment? No one there was fussing too much - all just telling us how to move forward - one step at a time. Specialist in Nashville and then the rest would happen. Take one step at a time. Breathe.

We had to go to the Pathology department deep in the heart of the hospital to get his bone marrow to take up to Nashville with us. We walked through that hospital saying things I don't remember. I had the distinct impression that I was being comforted by Steven more than I was able to comfort him. He held his head up, walked like a man, held onto me when I wobbled - now I know what a great, great, great grandma feels like! We picked up his marrow that was in a standard brown envelope on glass slides. We went home.

On the way we saw a man with a big white bushy beard, slightly flushed in his face, an enormous grin plastered all over his face, riding his bike down the busy highway....... we both laughed. It was a good tension breaker and nice to see that we had both held onto our sense of humor - even if it was, at least definately on my part, slightly hysterical. But that man made a wonderful moment in the car - it was great.

Steven dropped me off and we were supposed to carry on living life. By all accounts, he did superbly - he did not fall apart, he spoke to people on the phone, he played with the dog. Fantastic! He has an incredibly optimistic view of this whole thing, talks about it quite easily and is not letting it rule his life. His friends were told, the people at work know, everyone knows and he talks to everyone who calls. His ability to deal with this is way better than mine - at least the part he is showing. I am so proud of this son of mine - he is amazing, strong and positive - he is an inspiration to me.

And his bone marrow sat in the brown envelope on the chest of drawers next to the tv in our lounge. This should be illegal

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