Cancer. The freaking doctor said, “we have to rule out cancer” in front of my thirteen year old today. After protecting my child from Googling “hernia” a couple of weeks ago, I was stunned and amazed that the word rolled right off his tongue this morning without even thinking to pause in front of my child. But, it was out there. And, so I did what any good parent would do: I kept smiling and nodding and when he left the room, I never mentioned the word again.
Rosie has been sick for about six weeks. First, it was a virus. Then some mysterious bacterial infection that inflamed the lymph nodes in her groin. Ten days of antibiotics later, it’s not any better. She’s barely able to stay awake for school, hasn’t been able to dance and just feels crappy. So, I walked her back into the doctor this morning ready to demand another mono test.
A couple of years ago, we moved from a very busy, over-booked pediatrician’s office to our current one. Now that we’ve needed more than a well visit, I’m so glad we did. They ask a lot of questions, have awesome bedside manner and seem to really care about the kids. In fifteen minutes we were able to rule out cat scratch fever (it’s a real thing, not just a song), TB and a bunch of other crazy things that leave lymph nodes inflamed. Unfortunately, that’s when the doctor had to tell us what might happen- a lymph node biopsy and yes, ruling out cancer.
So we spent three hours getting blood work (the look on my kid’s face was priceless when she saw her own blood. Later she declared, “I could operated on someone and be okay. It was just that it was MY blood”) and sinus and chest x-rays. It wasn’t until we were driving home that Rosie turned to me and said, “How do they do a biopsy?” that I knew she really heard and understood what the doctor said.
“Well, they may have to make an incision. And, he also said they may just have to take out the lymph nodes altogether. We’ll wait and see what happens,” I said.
Since she’s binged watched a decade of Grey’s Anatomy, she completely understood what I said. And, she knows what cancer is and how it’s treated. So, I know she’ll have more questions, I just don’t have any of the answers.
So, why am I sharing all this? As a mom of a teen, I know that my child will confide in a Bestie and the word cancer will be mentioned. So, it’s better for me to put the truth out on social media first before Instagram rumors start flying. So, there you go.
And, just so you know, I don’t believe my daughter has cancer. I still think it’s a wicked case of mono. But, if she did, you’d find out just how tough Deb CB can really be.