Saturday, October 11, 2008
Well for me, this blog is a lot about past, and some present. Janna just scanned in a bunch of pictures from when she went through her cancer. I've talked a lot about that time, but I don't think very many people have ever seen pictures, so I decided to dedicate this post to showing you, if your interested...or even if you're not!
Janna had just turned 5. She came home from preschool with a tummy ache. She had a fun day because they went on a field trip to the zoo that day. I thought that maybe she ate too many goodies.
The next night she was feeling even worse, so we took her to our Pediatrician. They did a few things and said that if she wasn't feeling better the next morning, to bring her back in and they would run some tests. Not only was she not feeling better, but she had gotten much worse. Hal and I hadn't slept now for 2 nights. Hal and our good friend Steve Ball gave her a blessing that morning, and blessed the doctors through her, that they would be able to quickly find the problem with her. I took her to the Dr. and they did a urine sample and then an ultrasound. Her right kidney was twice the size it should have been, so her Dr. thought that it must be an abscess
on her kidney. Best case they would have to give her strong antibiotics, worst case they would have to surgically remove the abscess. I could live with this. It would be scary, but survivable. By the time I got back to the Dr. office down the hall, everything had changed. They asked me into there office, (my Dr. and some other Dr.) He said that they had gotten the results of the urine analysis back and it showed no sign of infection...okay...well? What does that mean? That means it can't be an abscess. We think it's a tumor...In one word, our world had turned upside down and inside out! They had me call Hal at work to meet us and figure out what to do next. When Hal got there, it was decided that we should go directly tp the hospital, in fact, they were waiting for us. We stopped by the house to get a couple of Janna's favorite things to help make the hospital stay better, and to make arrangements for 5 month old Devin to be cared for. They put her on a morphine pump. 5 year olds should not have a morphine pump. She couldn't figure out that pushing a button would help decrease her pain. So we had to press it every 15 minutes or so. All night. All day. Crazy. The next day, she had a CT Scan and it was determined that she had Wilm's Tumor, childhood kidney cancer. In both of her kidneys, but more advance in her left kidney. That was Friday, St. Patrick's Day, 1994. Monday she had surgery. They removed her left kidney and a portion of her right kidney. Followed by 26 radiation treatments and 15 months of chemo. She was given an 68% chance of survival. A couple years later, when we got internet for the first time (yes, we are THAT OLD!) we googled Wilm's Tumor, and found out, given her specifics, that her chance of survival was more like 17%. We are very glad that we didn't know that at the time. I think it was wise for the Drs. to not share that with us.
Believe it or not, that was the short version. So I'll just follow with pictures.