In April, 2010, when Andrew was 2 1/2, a tumor was discovered behind his eye. The tumor was removed, but it was found to be an aggressive cancer. He endured seven months of chemo and six weeks radiation. In December of 2010, the day after his last treatment, he was rushed to the ER with an almost fatal bacterial infection. He survived.

He is now seven-years-old!! I don't visit here much, because during the ordeal, this is where I dumped everything--my rage, my fear, my sadness, my ugly, my hope, my everything. But I want all of you who supported and prayed for us to hear his updates. You helped me survive, and I am deeply thankful. Every once in awhile, I will check in to let you know how he's doing. Please continue to pray that cancer will never return to his body. Thank you.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Lesson in Worrying

I worked myself up into a frenzy yesterday.  A serious frenzy.  Andrew's runny nose and the the toothpick situation wasted about 10 hours of my brain space, not to mention the discomfort it caused my anxious nerves and angry stomach.  My impending roommate situation took up at least another 5 hours, as I called every hospital in town hoping they had individual rooms for pediatric oncology patients. (I was ready to switch doctors; I was ready to switch everything, just to have my own room where I could actually use the bathroom in the room, and wouldn't have to brush my teeth down the hall.)  There are plenty of hospitals with individual rooms.  In fact, most of them.  But none of them service pediatric oncology.  So, after a euphoric hour of thinking perhaps I had my ticket out of my youth hostel surroundings, I realized I was stuck.

This morning I was SO angry, anxious and upset.  I thought Andrew would be scared to come to the hospital.  I knew those toothpicks were coming; I knew my roommate was going to be a nightmare; I knew he would be stuck in his bed on the contagious third floor with no chance of parole; and I knew my doctor and nurses would be rigid and rule-oriented. 

So now I'm eating crow.  Andrew was happy to come to the hospital, and was hanging out by the garage door fifteen minutes before I was ready to put him in the car.  No toothpicks. My roommate may cry tonight, but I may cry with him.  Three and a half months old with a tumor in his brain.  His parents have been here for three weeks and expect to stay at least another two.  And then come back again for another two weeks after a small sanity break.  They have a little two year old daughter at home with grandparents and they will be spending most of the first year of his little life here in the hospital.  He is vomiting.  He is crying.  He is in pain.  Cards congratulating them on his birth litter their tiny window sill.

(In comparison, Andrew is watching Cinderella and ordering me around like the wicked step-mother.  "Get in bed with me Mama!!  I want my pillow Mama!! I want some juice Mama!!" No wonder he likes the hospital.  "Mama" is counting her blessings.  We are by far the more obnoxious roommate.)

We are on the second floor oncology unit.  Playroom access.  We can walk around.  His runny nose is still slightly runny, but the flexible doctor allowed us to bypass the dreaded "cell scraping" and give Andrew's snot the benefit of the doubt.  None of my nasty one-liners needed!  The doctor listened to my concerns and may make it possible for Andrew to do ALL of his chemo outpatient!  We will see.  There may be additional risk to his heart with that, so if that is the case, it is not worth it.  But the doctor listened! He heard my concerns.  And I am wondering what in the world I had myself so worked up about...

Today was much better than I worried it would be!

Now I'm hoping the side effects of this chemo round are as unworthy of my worry and anxiety.


  1. Hi Julie - I am a new follower of yours. I am glad today was a bit better than you thought. Hang in there! I am going to do a post about your son next week and take your button! Praying for Andrew!

  2. aw... I'm glad it turned out as it did. Yay! for sensible doctors!

    I'll keep your roomate's baby in my prayers as I do Andrew.

  3. I'm glad the anticipation has (so far) been worse than the reality. I'll keep my fingers crossed for chemo at HOME!!!

  4. So glad it turned out better than you thought! I know about the worrying part. It can take over. And you're right: it's a difficult situation for all the little ones there, they're all in pain and have too much serious stuff in their lives. It sounds like Andrew is a real trooper. Amazing how quickly they adjust to things, eh? Hope your weekend is better by far than you expect. Take care. =)

  5. you're amazing...such perspective at such a time

  6. Glad to hear that things went better than you were expecting and that Andrew is doing ok right now...still praying for you all.

  7. A doctor that really listens is a rare treasure! I hope it will work out for Andrew to be an outpatient. I'm glad that things have gone smoother than you expected so far and I'm praying that they will continue to...

    Here's a profound quote I read on worry:
    "Worry is a small trickle of fear that meanders through the mind, cutting a channel into which all other thoughts flow."

  8. not only am I glad it worked out for the better, I'm glad that you can recognize this. I tend to struggle with being in the moment and grateful for the way situations turn out.

    I'm rooting for you to remain as positive as possible and that quote you have down a few posts
    "Clinging to the light" is a great Mantra for it- I have it running through my head already :)

    I gobbled up those pictures of your family!!!

  9. Well thank God you didn't have to go with any of those options and things worked out.

    I will keep Andrew (and your entire family) in my prayers as well as that poor pookie baby, too.

    Please enjoy your weekend as much as you can.

  10. Hurray for juice and playroom access! Hope today went as well as yesterday. Also hoping your little wicked stepmother stays in good spirits (and you, too)! =>

  11. It's always better when we have the worse perspective and outlook on something and then it turns out to be not that bad after all. Hope all goes well in the near future...

  12. Glad today turned out better than you expected. You have a beautiful family and my thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

  13. Hi Julie - My friend Stacia just told me about your family and your blog. I am the mom of an almost three-year-old and a just-turned-one-year-old and I'm honored to be here reading your words. You and Andrew and the rest of your family will be in my thoughts.

  14. Your strength is amazing. I am praying for your son and your family, as well as your roommate.


Your thoughts...