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.
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!
The Golden Birthday
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