That’s what it was. Not actually “nothing.” To be exact, “Apparent hypoechoic area described on previous ultrasonography study is likely due to echo spin shadowing from surgical clip along the left psoas muscle.” Or, in our own language, that thing we saw in the ultrasound was caused by ultrasound waves bouncing off the titanium clip that was placed in his kidney as a marker and forming a shadow. It wasn’t a mistake. There really was a shadow on the May 7 ultrasound, some new spot that measured 1.4 centimeters and that warranted further study. That was it.
The same paragraph of the official report says, “No evidence of new left renal mass lesion.” And that says it all: No new left renal mass lesion. There is nothing new in his left kidney that could possible be a tumor.
This is the report that was handed to me in person when our oncologist pulled into our driveway yesterday evening around 6:30. (The same report Austin later spilled champagne on.) I lost it. Absolutely and completely lost it (not over the spilled champagne). I don’t think I could have possibly cried harder or louder if we’d been told he had three weeks to live. I have never felt that degree of relief over any piece of news we’ve received in the past five years. Never. Except that poor Mark was upstairs while the boys were showering and heard the doorbell ring and then heard me crying and assumed the worst. As he whisked the boys into their jammies, he was able to discern laughter in our tears and bravely ventured down to hear the news.
Then it was celebration and laughter and more tears, champagne and sprinklers and more tears. And some wonderful spontaneous visits from random people who couldn’t resist giving a hug.
And I’ll say one thing for that Dom Perignon:
it doesn’t taste all that different but you sure don’t wake up with a headache!
So I don’t know how to account for all this craziness. Was it just me overreacting? Was it the power of positive energy, good wishes, prayer? Was it the healing oil a colleague of Mark’s dropped off, which we rubbed on Austin’s belly Wednesday night? The double rainbows, the wishing stars, an act of God? Good luck … a miracle? Or just plain echo spin shadowing? Call it what you will, my child is two years cancer-free, a fact made extra clear by the extra clear images of the MRI. This milestone, which we’ve been so eagerly awaiting for the past five years, means several things: The chances of Wilms tumor coming back after two years are extremely extremely slim. And if, at any point in the future, his kidney should start to fail, we can set the wheels in motion for transplantation while hopefully avoiding dialysis altogether.
In non-medical terms it means this: We made it. Austin made it. We have done what we hope is our life’s hardest thing. We have done our life’s hardest thing.
Why, what on Earth makes you think I’ve had too much sugar?