You are currently browsing the daily archive for April 8, 2009.

Ah, somehow this boy keeps surprising us all. And this time with good news.

The lymph nodes came back clear, negative for cancer, which is the best possible outcome we could have received. The tumor that we originally went in for was Wilms’, but it looked similar to typical Wilms’ tumors after they’ve been treated with chemotherapy. This means it’s possible that this particular tumor is not a recurrence at all but was actually in him in some form during treatment. We’ll never really know if that’s what happened or not and it doesn’t impact how we’ll move forward but it would change the survival statistics, which happen to be pretty dismal for recurrences of Wilms’ tumor. (I will talk about that another day because right now I’m just too pleased.)

The other mass that we were afraid was a lymph node infected with his cancer turned out to be a tumor but not a lymph node at all. Again, no one is sure why this happened but it may actually be a part of the larger mass that sort of came loose, as they were found together in a net-like sack. It is, as usual, very unusual. But unusual we will take.

There’s still a possibility that we may do one six-day course of radiation, but we’re waiting for the St Jude’s people to weigh in again. Then we’ll have to think long and hard about the risks versus the benefits. The fear is that we still don’t know what else might be in there or what might appear another year from now. 

But we’ve learned to take things one day at a time and today is a very very good day. Today we exhale, today we celebrate. Today we look to the future together.

No official news yet. We are meeting with Jeff at 5 o’clock since he’s working in the PICU today, and I am getting increasingly nervous. I’d been feeling pretty good, mostly because Austin wowed us by taking a few steps and eating a plate of mac and cheese! Did I mention how tough he is? He was thrilled with the applause he received from several doctors and nurses when he announced that he’d farted, which is a good sign he doesn’t have an ileus. Wait til he poops — we’ll probably throw a party! (Oh, there will be much work for me to undo all he learns at the hospital. . . )

So I was feeling good, heartened by one doctor who thought we might get to go home tomorrow or the next day. But then I talked to Jeff and heard something in his voice, a hesitancy or nervousness or something. I’m probably reading too much into it; he is working in the PICU after all and dealing with lots of families on the edge of disaster. I just need to wait. It is strange to think that he and the pathologist in Washington state and various doctors tucked away in offices scattered throughout the hospital know the fate of my child and I just need to wait.

I keep recycling old lines from our first round with cancer, but this one, taken from a Carepage posting on September 11, 2007, as we awaited pathology results after the horrifying growth of Austin’s primary tumor, keeps popping into my head:

“Don’t even know what to wish for. But wishing nonetheless.”

April 2009
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April 2009
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