Now shaking and crying, I tried to pull myself together for just a few minutes, thinking that none of this made any sense, I was just at the grocery store. I collected the kids and called my husband who was in Vermont, already stuck in the blizzard. I called my parents who immediately got in their car. I went home and dropped my daughter at my neighbors, tears pouring out of me “Can you please watch her while my parents are on their way?”
I packed a little bag of stuff for Eli and myself and got back on the road. With the blizzard in full force the roads were moving, but it was slow and all I wanted was to be there, it’s like time stood still. I looked in my rearview mirror and saw Eli’s unusually swollen neck. I just don’t know how I did not notice – my own child, right in front of me, every single day. How can I not have seen it?
We pulled into the children’s ER, they were expecting us. The first doctor came in to check on Eli. Unsure where all of this was going to lead us, we were both nervous and it showed. My heart was breaking as he was poked and prodded by kind, but unfamiliar faces. They started an IV, so that if they needed to take blood from him again he would already be accessed. He was as brave as he could be while entering a world of the unknown, he didn’t like how it felt and neither did I.
While we were waiting for results of the and X-ray and CAT scan, my father, who is a radiologist finally arrived. Aside from his emotional support, it helped to have him there to make sense of the medical talk.
Eli had Lymphoma, but that was just the beginning. The next step would be a procedure to assess his lymph nodes, and determine whether the final diagnosis would be Leukemia and not Lymphoma. The blizzard was in full force and we’d have to wait a few days to get the answers we so desperately needed.
That night we were admitted to the hospital. While Eli was in bed, I paced the hallways in a fog. They were an unknown maze of colors and doors, the faces, sounds and smells were unfamiliar. How did we get here? We were supposed to be home sleeping peacefully in our own beds. But we weren’t, and wouldn’t be for quite some time.