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.