Friday, March 10, 2006

Pre Diagnosis

Steven did not even have a primary care doctor. He had the medical insurance because we made him get it when he got his bike. When he sold that, he wanted to drop the medical insurance, we did not let him. When he moved out of home at the beginning of February this year, he mentioned that he did not think he needed the insurance - but again he listened and kept it. Three weeks later he was diagnosed with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia.

He started sounding 'snotty', sore throat and generally had symptoms of flu. Being Steven, he did not take medicine at first, waiting till it was firmly planted in his system and by then it just got out of hand. By the end of the week, he asked to go to the doctor. Laura hustled him off to Physicians Care where they jabbed him with antibiotics and did a blood test. He went back the next day for a follow up, got more blood taken by a doctor that recognised that something was not right. He sent the blood off for testing and Steven had to go back on the Monday when he was referred to the specialist. I will forever be grateful to the wonderful people at the Physician Care Walk In, for keeping their eyes open and following their gut feelings. It is because of this that this disease was caught so early. We are also very thankful that Steven got the flu badly enough to go and see a doctor.

So, on Monday, right after Frank and I reserved a camping spot right on the beach in Florida to test the new motorhome and to get some sunshine and beachwalking time, within an hour of paying for and confirming this reservation, Steven called saying that he had to go to the specialist as his white blood count was too high for the machines to register. Florida got cancelled.

I knew then that our road in life had just changed.

So on Thursday 2nd March, we met Dr C and Steven had his first bone marrow biopsy. We had to wait a long time for the pathologist to come and this built the tension quite badly. Steven got hungry and I got scared. Finally it was happening, I sat holding his hand while they dug into my eldest childs bones. Steven did great. It looked really uncomfortable and even sore, but he said that it was uncomfortable but not as bad as he had expected. He was smiling by the time they were finished and he turned over. I was green. The doctor and nurses were laughing at me, making sure I did not stand up and going to get something for us both to eat and drink. I felt really, really lousy. I could hear paper crinkle in my ears, and all other sounds dissappeared. An awful feeling. It was interesting that I only started feeling like this when they said they were finished and Steven said he was ok. Funny how the mind works......... A turkey sandwich and a soda later and we were both feeling much better. They took more blood and sent us on our way saying they would call us on Friday with some results. The pathologist was wonderful!

Friday came - they called, but for more blood and no results. That was awful. I knew that something was not right, I had researched on the internet and had a very strong feeling that this was/is leukemia, but all that information was just terrifying. I have no idea how Steven and Laura got through that weekend, I know that it was one of the longest, most awful weekends of my life. I had to do something and the rose bush outside looked like it needed attacking - it turned out that it attacked me before I got it trimmed. My hands look like a wild animal got hold of them. The 'pain' of the thorns ripping at my hands was comforting - it took my mind off the other pain in my soul. I am not going to guess at Stevens feelings, just going to tell it from my point of view. This is not a story about me, its just simply the story from my point of view.

I had told my family that Steven was having tests done for diabetes - no need to worry more people than necessary.

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