Monday, May 12, 2008

Health matters most...

As a parent you ride the tide and go up and feel the exhilaration when your child is in good health, looks happy and does things that fill you with pride and joy...and ride the lows and feel the pain of difficult days when your child seems to treat you like an enemy, when you only feel anger towards the child...and on some days the lows come with a feeling of unbearable love and a sense of helplessness when your child is sick and you wish you could just physically take the pain unto yourself.

I often wonder about parents who cope with real illness for their child. Serious debilitating or sometimes fatal illness. I have written about such people in this post. I support St.Jude because parents who cannot pay for the treatment can also seek refuge and find hope in getting treatment for their child at that hospital. I cannot imagine how horrible it must be for parents who have to suffer the pain of first seeing their child sick with cancer and on top of it not be able to afford treatment. It must be the worst kind of pain to feel that helpless.

Although I always feel truly and most sincerely for them, it is still something that happened to someone else. Today I came a teeny bit close to experiencing what the kind of horror must feel like.

KB has been throwing up since Friday. On Friday I just thought it was the combination of cheese and yogurt soon after that messed up his stomach. On Sat night, he just threw up suddenly after dinner - even then I thought he was just not chewing properly and just got it all out. But yesterday, he threw up his lunch, dinner and night time milk. Gushed out. Lunch time he threw up only a little. Dinner again he was refusing to eat well - I got really stressed out and told him that he was not being nice to mamma and was being so difficult and refusing to eat. He ate a few spoons for my sake but didn't even want yogurt which he normally likes. So I just gave up and let him go. Night, I gave him his milk and even before he finished it, he got it all out all over himself, me and on the couch. Thankfully B was home since it was Sunday night, so he took care of giving KB a bath to clean him up and I took care of the other clean up.

I took him to the doctor today while B worked from home those couple of hours to be with KG while she napped in the morning. The doctor who checked him is not our usual pediatrician but the doc who was available in that group with a morning appointment. KB behaved so well and allowed the doctor to check him without crying or resisting like he used to last year. She said he has the stomach bug and that he will be OK in a few days. This pediatrician looked at his birth mark - a little blotch of black - near his navel and asked me if his regular pediatrician was aware of it. I told her he knew of it but had not checked it since KB's two year check up. She casually said "Well, then you should take him to the dermatologist since I see spots on the mole and they will do a little biopsy to make sure it doesn't lead to anything else".
I was too tired from all the work I had the last two days to even react to what she said.

As I was driving back home and I saw KB looking very weak from not having any real food for a while I suddenly thought about what she said. "Biopsy" is the only word that kept coming to mind. The first time that I have had to even come near this term in real life. Not terms used in my textbook. I still am writing this in the confidence that it will all be OK - just a routine thing to do to be cautious. Yet if I think with my heart and I look at my dear sweet gentle KB and think of even this little word and the horrors that it has brought to some people all in the same breath - I just choke up with tears. I cannot think any further. I still don't. I am writing under the assumption it will be, it HAS to be OK. Nothing can be wrong. I feel so sorry for having made him feel bad for not eating his food last night. In the pettiness of every day life and the aggravations that I face with some people, I suddenly think to myself, I just want the kids and husband to be healthy and safe. Nothing else matters. I talk about my family but I really mean it for all who I am close to. And pretty much for every one. Good health is the bottom line. The first priority in my prayers. Keep them in good health.

It will probably be a week or so before we get the referral and get to take KB to a dermatologist. But I am going to assume all will be OK and that we just need to go through the routine exam for children who have such birth marks. But that one word biopsy brought me a little closer to understanding what the parents of children who have cancer must be going through. To see their world collapse in front of them at the dreaded C word being mentioned in the biopsy result. I shudder at the thought. I salute their courage and I pray for their good health and for my children.

29 comments:

Mona said...

oh, that is scary. i'm sure all will be well with KB babe.
good health really is the bottomline and we don't often see it for the blessing it is.

Orchid said...

dear noon,
i comepeltely understand your angst...but all will be well and ofcourse it always helps to do things proactively.

DotThoughts said...

dearest noon.. hugs. It will be OK. They ask all moles to be biopsied. Asian people get skin cancers rarely. It will be just fine. Reminds me of a friend who had to do a biopsy on her mole-like birthmark. Don't worry.

K 3 said...

Oh Noonie, I do hope/pray that all's well very soon. Please have faith in God, and I hope you you shall be strong for not only KB's sake but your own. I know its very tough, and these are just words, but please know you have a friend if you need one. Its hard, very hard, to see our family suffer, but we all go through trying times in life - but this will pass, YES it will - thats my faith and my prayer!

God Bless!

Neera said...

Lots of good luck Noonoo ..instincts tell me everything would be fine. Hugs to u and dear little KB. I really hope he's feeling better now. And if its the stomach bug, it might be the milk and the milk products (except the yogurt which is really good) you would want to keep him away from for a while.
Good luck again. Much love, Neera

noon said...

Mona - seriously - these days I so often come across people who realize that only after some serious health issue strikes them...how health is truly wealth. Beyond all material wealth.

Orchie - thanks...yes, I am confident all will be OK or I would not have even written this...I am just thinking of this as a routine exam.

Dottie - thanks! Yes, I know that they just want to do it as a routine exam - just the fact that I have to take KB for a biopsy is upsetting. I am hoping the derm will look at it and see that it is just a regular birthmark and that he doesn't even have to do a biopsy.

noon said...

K3 - KB is feeling OK since I came back from the doc's office yesdy. He didn't throw up after that - just recovering from the stomach virus. He was happily playing on the slide this morn. Regarding the biopsy, just one of those things you know will be OK but still because it is your child, you cannot totally relax until the doc sees and says it is all OK.
Thanks for being a pal!

Neera - Yeah - that's what I am counting on too. That I feel he will be OK.
He is OK today. I anyway give him soy milk. Today just gave him some potato soup - very light - and tiny bit of yogurt. Hopefully he will be back to full strength and fighting with me soon! :)

Aryan said...

Don't worry dear..I can very well understand..Everything will be oK and fine. Just pray god and be confident...I am here to pray for you...Will tell my Mom to put one AAlrupam in Attukal Temple in TriVandruM, if you are OK with it.....That helps a lot and lot....Even when Aryan's health was not good, did the same thing and immediate;y he recovered....
HUGS
AM

BangaloreMom said...

Oh Hon....DONT worry!! Everything is going to be just FINE. (tight hugs to u and KB!)And its always better to err on the side of caution and prbly thats why the doc suggested the biopsy in the first place.

Just chill, ok?

Collection Of Stars said...

*Hugs*
Hope KB is feeling better now.
I am sure everything will be fine with KB. Don't you worry.

ddmom said...

Noon, I know how you must be feeling right now. It is a very sad truth that we feel the intensity of the pain only when we go through something remotely close to it.
Am sure everything will be ok. Dotmom's comment is very re-assuring, hang in there. Am sure he'll be fine.

Poppins said...

Oh dear, I'm sure there's nothing to worry about, but this is still not pleasant.

I got a biopsy done on a mole on my face and there was nothing to it. I got it removed just to be on the safer side after that.

I know how you feel about parents with sick kids, I really wonder where they get the strength, I go to pieces when Poppin falls sick.

molarbear's posts said...

I went exactly through this when Anjana had a pre-cancerous lump behind her knee; she had to have major surgery and I was not able to get a ticket to go to the US and be with her.

For 3 weks, three surgeons were deciding on a)whether it was cancerous or not (it was a borderline case) b)whether surgery was possible or not, c)whether it might result in the cancer spreading, d)whether the leg would be amputated or not and e)whether it would be amputated below or above the knee (each has a plethora of different implications for future mobility)...you can just imagine how it felt.

At that time, Anjana made this profound observation, when she saw this raft of mails saying "Oh, don't worry, it won't happen to you"... she said, "Random S&^t happens, it's something to come to terms with, and deal with, if it does." That has stayed with me ever since, and it consoled me when she lost her baby in January.

We walked through the shadow of death, but emerged almost unscathed, in the sunshine.... but forever after, I have been thinking about those on whom the shadow closes....

deponti-on-LJ

Health is the greatest treasure we have.

Sraikh said...

I'm sure its just a precaution. I too wonder how those parents cope with thier's child's life threatening diseases. Those fund raisers that St Jude's does always tears me up.

My oldest had have to eye surgery done when she was 6. After I hugged her and the anesthialogist wheeled her away, I broke down and cried, even though it was a simple eye surgery thing..

noon said...

Aryan - thanks soo much - just that thought - to go that extent for someone you don't know - very sweet. Thanks again! Yeah - I would be happy if he gains strength overall anyways!

BM, DDmom, - thanks...as I said, I know it will be OK or I would not even be able to write or communicate - I mean he is my heart entirely - it would have burst had I actually thought of it as any real risk - but you know my point was how when you think about it in the context of people talking about what your child does or doesn't do, how much weight he has gained etc etc - in the big picture those things don't matter - he just needs to be healthy and active - like my doc says...

CofS - Thanks!

Poppins - seriously - I too go to pieces even for mild illness like a stomach bug and KB losing weight like crazy - I cannot even imagine how those parents cope...when I was in grad school I used to see children with cancer - head bald with tubes connected to their arm come to the coffee shop in the hospital with their family, mom mainly - and the cheer with which they all behaved - I just wanted to go and hug those children..and the moms...they may be suffering inside but still they are so strong at some level...Have you read "Truth and Beauty - a friendship" by Ann Patchet...God it just was unbelievable...

noon said...

Molarbear - you have a positive attitide towards life in general - if not it would have killed you, those three weeks. I think also some people find it harder to cope because they don't have enough moral support to carry them through very rough times...
I am so happy and relieved that things turned out OK for Anjana - but I can't imagine how hard those three weeks must have been for you...I would have been numb with pain!

Sriakh - thanks for visiting...
I totally know what you mean - eye surgery at six - even I would have felt very much the way you felt...any surgery - even people who have tubes put in for ear infections - they go through hell just before the surgery!
I have never been to a St.Jude fundraiser...I should look it up now...

Sumana said...

Noon, i have been browsing about a cute little girl called Nirali who died last year of cancer at savenirali.org. I got hooked up to this site from 6 months before she died everyday reading her updates put up on the site by her mom. There were days when i cried after reading and have prayed. It is really tough to bear such things in life i can get what you are feeling now. Don't worry and by god's grace KB will be just fine. Biopsy i know is still not soft to the ears. Take care. Health is wealth as always...

Kodi's Mom said...

Noon! I totally understand every bit of what you say. hang in there, my dear. it is routine anyway, and if your regular ped didn't think it was a big deal, it prbbly isnt.
and "it HAS to be OK." I have had a whole week of saying this to myself. will do an update soon.

Something to Say said...

and God willing everything will be all right with the lil boy. Like dottie says - we asians are more prone to moles - mostly harmless ones - and it dont hurt to have it checked out. The most imp thing is - one issue at a time. First the stomach bug - and then the biopsy.
Be strong and lots of big hugs!!!

noon said...

Sumana - yeah such stories just break your heart...just so sad for those parents...

Kodi - thanks. Yes, it WILL be and HAS to be OK.

STS - finally his appetite is picking up...he has a general viral infection...takes it's course.
As I said it is not so much that I am worried about melanoma per se but to me such moments are just reminders of what our priorities ought to be...health being tops.

Random Vignettes said...

Aiyyo paavam baby KB and paavam noonie as well..dont worry it is pretty ordinary to get a check up done as you say in this country..
Yea we support St judes as well but now looking to volunteer there as well..

U just hang in there yea?

noon said...

RV - thanks :)
Yeah am not really worried (don't want to say it for fear of any jinx) - so I AM WORRIED! Anyways - theoretically I do know there is not much reason to worry - but am hoping the derm will just not even ask to do a biopsy - frankly I just think the pede who told me to go to the derm is not KB's pede - and she is relatively young - so she may just have been extra cautious. Plus she is a white person herself - so they are extra cautious about this.
I think I didn't make the point of this post too clear - it is more about how even the mention of such words brings me to the realization that the biggest wealth is health...and only after that other things matter...

pujathakur said...

Hi,

I hope everything is well with your child..Do update us with the results. Your child and you would be in my prayers.

Take care..

Poppins said...

Hey how's KB. Post pannu, I'm getting worried.

Orchid said...

noon,
what's going on hon..everything A-ok??

noon said...

Hi All

Thanks...sorry for the silence.
KB is OK - he had a viral infection - his appetite has finally picked up since last Thursday.
Annoying as it is at times, glad to have him troubling me and being back to normal! :)
Derm referral not here yet. But his usual pede (not the one who told me to see the derm) emailed me and said most likely the derm will tell me he doesnt even need a biopsy...so kind of have forgotten about it...
Thanks so much for asking/for your prayers.

Puja, Poppins, Orchie - thanks! :)

Aryan said...

Good to know that he is regaining his health and back to normal. That is what forget about the other Derm's advise...
Take care and Post KB's recent photo..
AM

The Gypsy said...

hey noonie,I just read! did that referral come ? i am glad KB is feeling better now.
I know the word biopsy is scary..but like you said, its one of those things,that you know will turn right!
Hugs

Preethi said...

thats so scary.. but am sure it will be ok.. hugs to you... do update!!