The hardest day



Today, is one of the hardest days you will face as a mother. As you sit there in the waiting room holding your baby boy tightly. Why? Because this is just not any waiting room, this is the oncology waiting room. Just that word alone scares you to your core, as you look into those little eyes looking up at you.

Looking around the room you see so many children and your heart drops a little more as you picture your son among them. You silently cry out to the Lord, "Please Lord, not him" as tears start to form in your eyes. Your husband is by your side, and gently squeezes you tightly,  and you know that he is just as scared of what this meeting will hold and what the biopsies and scans will show.

The door opens and the nurse calls your son's name. In this moment, you take a deep breath and stand, wrapping your son more tightly, thinking that this might protect him from what your fears are behind that door as you follow the nurse down the hall. The walk down the hall is hard as you look around and see the pictures of beautiful boys and girls each with their story under the picture who have lost the fight to cancer and leukemia. There faces seared to your memory and you start praying desperately for what is next. The nurse reaches the room and asks you to sit and hold your little baby boy as she begins to take his vital signs. She wraps the cuff around his little leg, then begins to ask you questions. You answer them, but your head feels lost in a fog, still trying to figure out if this is real. The nurse then points your family to an exam room and tells you that the doctor and the team will be in shortly. These next few minutes, well they seem like forever as you and your little family sit and wait. But as you hear the knock on the door, you pray for strength that only comes from above as you are the nurse in the family, and you will understand what they are saying, maybe more then you want to.

As the doctor enters the room and introduces the fellow and nurse case manager, you try to be as brave as possible by smiling and shaking their hands.  Then they begin to make small talk and ask you about how your baby boy has been eating and sleeping. As you answer their questions, you are thinking in your head - what did the biopsies and scan show? They then ask you to sit down and begin to open their mouth...

"So, we received the results of the biopsies and the scan. It appears that the tumors have multiplied and the etiology of them is one that we will need to treat more aggressively. At this time, we believe the best treatment plan would be chemotherapy. Within the next week he will also need to go for a bone marrow biopsy as this will be more comfortable for him while he is asleep, then during the same procedure we will have the surgeon place a mediport for his chemotherapy. " 

In this moment, your heart feels completely crushed and you are doing all you can to not break down and cry in front of these strangers. They continue talking but you don't really hear them because once you heard the word "chemotherapy" treatment plan your mind started picturing all those kids in the waiting room. Gradually, your mind starts flashing back to nursing school and all the classes on cancer and chemotherapy and your heart starts racing.

The doctor finishes explaining what the diagnosis is and the treatment plan as you re-enter into reality from the thoughts swirling in your head. You then put on your nursing hat and begin to ask questions of what are the next steps and exactly where they want you guys to be in the week ahead. The nurse case manager begins to give you a surgeon's name for the placement of the mediport and takes down your email and cell phone number. She begins to tell you that he is the best in placing these central lines in little babies and that she will call you after she speaks to him and his scheduler that afternoon. As she gives you further instructions on what will happen next you write it down and start thinking of all the things you will need to reschedule for your work and how that will pan out.

As the team leaves the room, you look over at your husband and you both reach for the other one's hand. No words are exchanged, just a gentle squeeze of one another hands, as you get up to leave. Exiting back into the waiting room, you cling onto your son tighter and tear up, as you look around again and see all the kids with no hair and think "oh my baby boy".

It is in this moment as a mom that you feel utterly helpless. You would do anything to take your son's place. As you leave the appointment and head home, you begin to breakdown. The tears just begin flowing freely down your face and you let them come as you stare out the windshield and the road in front of you. The ride home is silent, mostly because you are both in shock and in complete fear of what is next. When you arrive home you begin to receive texts and calls from friends and family asking how it went but you honestly don't have the strength to respond to them all, so you both get on the phone with your parents and let them know. As they start to cry on the phone with you, you tell them to let everyone else know.

Bedtime draws near and you pick up your baby boy and head upstairs to feed him and put him to bed. As you sit in the glider in his room, rocking him back and forth as you feed him, you begin telling him that he is a strong boy and that you will be right there with him through the days ahead. As he falls asleep in your arms, you begin to cry out to Jesus for any strength to be your sons rock in the days ahead. Pouring out your heart to the Lord, as the tears run down your face, you cry out to to Him your deepest fears for your son. It is in that sweet and mess of a moment that you feel such peace, as the arms of your Father wrap around you and you feel him comforting you as you grieve.

Oh my dear friend, I wish I could come and wrap my arms around you. I have been in your shoes and although our children my differ being a mom we are one in the same. These next few days will be the hardest as your son will go for more scans, a mediport placement and then start chemotherapy. It was in these days that as I look back, I see that God was very present and never once left our side. He loves his children dearly and like a loving Father, I felt his warm embrace of comfort and peace in the hardest days of this journey in the beginning months of my mothering experience. My prayer is that your little one is healed but if that path changes, I pray that only my Father can give you supernatural comfort.

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