Friday, February 3, 2012

Medical Adventures with Miss Banana: Leukemia?

I have received two phone calls in my life that are so deeply impressed in my brain that I will never forget them.  The first came when we received the news that Miss B might have Down syndrome

The second came on Monday.

Last week, I took Miss Banana into the new Dr. Kids--a lovely, open woman who I think is a good fit for us--to do the physical exam required by Miss B's new preschool.  Because of insurance rules, Dr. Kids decided to do Miss B's 3-year CBC (complete blood count) check that day.

Other than feeling guilty about holding Miss B down while strangers came and poked her and took her blood, I didn't think much about it.

And then Dr. Kids called Monday afternoon.

Monday was a lovely day here in the Midwest...60+ degrees, sunny, light breeze...absolutely pleasant.  I needed that.

The kids and I had been playing outside, enjoying the fabulous weather; I ran in to check the time and saw that I had a message.

"Carrie--we got Miss B's CBC results back, and I showed them to the hematologist.  Will you call me when you get this?"

As a parent of a child with Down syndrome, I knew what this type of phone call could mean.  And it's not good.

I braced myself and called her back.

She chatted pleasantly for a bit (Why do doctors DO that??! We both know we wouldn't be chatting under normal circumstances;  just rip off the band-aid and get it over with!), then came the real reason for the call.

Dr. Kids: Do you know why we routinely check the CBC of kids with Down syndrome?
Me: Yes.  Leukemia.
Dr. Kids: I got Miss B's CBC back, and her lymphocyte numbers are a little wonky. (Yes, she did use the word "wonky".  That's why she gets paid the big bucks.)  I showed the results to the hematologist who said there is no reason to worry now (!!!!!), but we need to keep a closer eye on it and we will check it again in 6 months.

I then asked a few questions, she gave a few answers and ended with:  You don't need to worry; I'm not staying awake at night worrying about Miss B.  I thanked her politely, ended the conversation.
And then...

Emotional panic!!

That phone call might as well have been a python squeezing the air out of me; suffocating me with the weight of horrible possibilities.



OF COURSE I'm going to worry about this!!  How could I not?!?  I already  worried about Miss B getting the L-word; the idea kept me awake at night even when her CBCs came back fine.

And now?  I have six months to prepare myself for my baby having cancer. 

Six months of wondering if my little love's cells are killing her from the inside out.

I hope and pray that it is nothing.  Just a blip on Miss B's long list of medical adventures.

PLEASE! Let it be nothing!


Just breathe.


Jenni said...

Oh Carrie. We will be keeping Miss B in our prayers. Lab tests are so often inaccurate and I pray that the only thing wonky was the test itself.

Courtney said...

Carrie, I'm sorry... I am sorry that you have to wait 6 months for something that may be nothing or may be something. Isn't there anything they can do now? Such a scary lab test and then to not have any answers for months.
I hope you are enjoying your new ward, neighborhood, schools and I am sure that you are quickly making a ton of great friends. Hugs.

Aimee said...

Oh, dear... I'm so sorry you're having to go through this. Nothing like your nightmares coming true. We'll be praying from Colorado that it turns out to be a fluke, and that those numbers are just wonky for the sake of being wonky. I hate to see your precious munchkin dealing with it all. It's always been obvious, though, that she's one tough cookie. I'm sure she won't disappoint here, either.

On a different note, I think I'd be requesting it to be redone in three months instead of six, just because I'm a little neurotic. I don't think I could keep my sanity that long... Prayers to you and yours!

Heidi said...

Carrie, I am so sorry for all the worry. 6 months seems like an eternity from now to have more concrete answers. I'll keep Miss B in my prayers.

Krista said...

I gett you. I totally utterly get what you are talking about and I am sorry. Stay strong! stay positive. Have faith. Blessings!

Alex's mom said...

Hi there, I have not been keeping up with my favorite DS kiddies and then I read this and will keep your families in my prayers. I am glad to catch-up and follow Miss B, as you deal with the crazy medical community.

Cindy said...

Carrie what a horrible phone call! I'll be praying that it's nothing.

krlr said...


Nan said...

A horrible call. And even when you try to put it out of your mind, because you know (in your head) that you have no control, your heart keeps thumping and thrumming those thoughts into your brain. We had a similar incident a last year (or was it the year before). Our daughter often has radically low white blood cell counts. But all was well . . . having to wait for tests and re-tests over a 6 to 8 month period. See the end part (we like the end part!)

Sweet Pea's Mommy said...

How the heck have I been so far behind in your blog to not see this for two weeks! I'm so sorry that you are having to go through this anguish! There are no words to express how I'm feeling and certainly none for you either I'm guessing. Please know that we will all be rallying around Miss B if it does come to that! Prayers for a quick 6 months and a retest that shows normal levels again! Hugs!

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