Friday, March 7, 2014
Testimonies Part 1
I remember when Lizzie and Alex came home from visiting their dad in Hawaii August of 2011. Lizzie was repeatedly throwing up. (I think that's the trip when Lizzie threw up in Alex's purse on the plane.) Said she was sick in Hawaii but blamed motion-sickness. Looking back, she started getting really tired in 11th grade - hair thinning, no energy, sleeping a lot. She was trying to keep up with ther schoolwork and participate in Panther Pride. We both thought maybe she was just over extending herself. So fastforward to her senior year. I had made an appointment with her doctor on a Monday, but she was so terribly sick that I took her to Urgent Doc. There they drew blood and ran some tests which came back with elevated liver levels. I can't remember what they thought was wrong with her, but they were concerned about the liver levels. Took that information to the doctor that Monday, and they ordered more blood tests. This continued for approximatley 7 months. Blood test after blood test. Doctor after doctor. Stomach virus - no, abdominal migraines, strep - one "diagnosis" after another. Me so frustrated with the medical profession that no one could figure out what was wrong with my child and fix her. That fall Mom, sister, Alex, Chrissii, Lizzie, and I went to see "Wicked" in Austin. That entire weekend Lizzie was so sick. I called the on-call nurse at our doctor's office - griping - that this was ridiculous and that they needed to do something. The nurse sais she had strep. Bring her in. She was referred to Texas Children's in Sugarland. Traveled there twice with no answers.In fact, I refused to take her back because the doctor there really didn't examine her or anything - just ordered more blood tests. Finally was referred to a gastrointerologist here. He was about to order more blood tests....again....and I remember getting a little perturbed. I was so concerned about the throwing up - how it affects the esophogus, teeth, gag reflex, etc. And the days missed of school. Lizzie was working so hard to graduate with honors. Missing all those days was stressing her out more. So...the doctor orders a CT, MRI, and endoscopy. Lizzie had the CT first. I watched over the shoulder, never realizing all the click-click-clicks were the measuring of a tumor. The next week Lizzie had the MRI then on to the endoscopy.I had scheduled them on one day to try to not miss yet another day. Lizzie was just coming around from the endoscopy when the doctor came in and told us that her general doctor wanted to see us immediately. Ok, I like all the doctors at the clinic where the girls had been going for years. I can tolerate some more than others. So, when told we were to go to the doctor's, I got a little angry, argumentative, "b.......". Lizzie either had a reaction to the sedative or she was simply throwing up again. I can remember saying "I am not taking my child there to sit in the waiting room for 2 hours so that Dr. So-So can talk to us for 5 minutes." Blah, blah, blah. Gripe gripe, gripe. (not one of my finest moments). But I was told to take Lizzie to the back door (didn't know there was one) and they would let us in and immediately take us to a room. So, we go. Back door - immediately to room - Lizzie lays down and falls asleep. Pillow and blanket brought in. Doctor comes in and breaks the news. Enter Salvador Dali. From that moment on I have felt like I was in some surreal world. I'm sitting there. Staring at the doctor. Lizzie staring at me. Thinking that no, this is not my life. Wanting to cry but not crying because my child needs me to be strong. Lizzie being as calm as can be. Big question - how did this extrememely rare form of cancer find MY CHILD?