43/365 days of blogging
You can read part 1 of the story here.
I loaded her into the truck, not really in a huge hurry, after all she was breathing fine now, and headed for the hospital. By the time I got her to the truck, and strapped her in, and drove about 2 blocks, I noticed that she was “dusky” around her mouth. I looked at her chest and it wasn’t moving. The amount of panic that came over me I can not even begin to explain in any words that exist in Websters Dictionary. I started unbuckling her out of her car seat and I vaguely heard the words “do you want me to pull over?” “NO I screamed, just keep driving!” I laid her across my lap and started to do CPR, thanking God that I had only been certified for about 4 months in Kindersaver (infant CPR). I noticed after a few breaths that she was breathing again and her color had come back.
A few minutes later we arrived at the emergency room at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo. I laid her back in her car seat and carried her in and set her car seat and all up on the counter of the ER desk. A nurse started speaking to me asking me what she needed to be seen for and before she finished the sentence she grabbed my baby car seat and all, and whisked her away to a room. I stood there with a blank look on my face for what seemed like an eternity, and then began beating on the closed and locked door that separated me from my newborn. A woman came out and I darted through the doors and started looking room to room for her.
Upon finding her, there were so many doctors and nurses around her that I really couldn’t see anything that they were trying to do so I had to listen very carefully. A woman, a nurse I think, came over to me and said that I would have to leave the room until they finished assessing her. I refused and almost dared them to throw me out. After a few minutes, they stopped fighting me and ordered me to stand in the corner of the room and out-of-the-way. So I did, grateful that I could stay with her. I began to listen intently to what they were saying. I heard a lot of medical terms like, intubation, obstruction, CT, IV, retractional breathing, and lots of others I didn’t even know what they meant. Finally a doctor came over to me and asked if she could have swallowed anything, or had been sick of late. I began to explain the events of the last 4 weeks and the once again whisked her away to do a cat scan of her head.
A woman from admitting came to the room and wanted me to sign some papers for insurance purposes and admitting. I informed her we were just in the ER and that she was not being admitted. I was informed that after the CT my baby was being admitted to ICU for observation. I got pretty angry at her and told her that if she wanted me to sign her papers that she could bring them to me later in ICU to sign and I would do it there.
Fast forward about 3 hours, I was called into a consultation room to speak with the doctors and some nurses. Upon entering the room a doctor by the name of Dr. Woods held out his hand for me to shake and introduced himself. There were two other doctors in the room, whose names escape me at this point, and several nurses, one by the name of Cathy Burke. They turned on a TV and began showing me a video of a scope they had done on Micah and started explaining that they were unable to intubate her because of a “mass” that they found in her airway, and that they needed to do surgery to try to remove the “mass” but that they needed to do a biopsy of it to determine if it was benign or not. I said “ok so what does that mean?” He replied “Jeannie, we are pretty sure that your daughter has a tumor in her throat and the only way to find out if it is malignant or not, is to do a biopsy of it.” Again, I said “So what does that mean?” He then said “We don’t know if it is cancer or not, but a biopsy will tell us for sure. We would like to schedule her for surgery this afternoon.” Wait a minute! Did I hear the word cancer? Cancer? I said “What are you talking about? Babies don’t get cancer, old people die from cancer.”
So as it was…there I sat…in a room with 7 strangers, all alone, learning my 5 week old daughter had cancer. You see, upon arriving at the hospital that morning, my husband at the time, said to me as I was going into the ER, “Call me when you know something”, as he was driving away to go to work. I was all alone. No family. No friends. No support. Just me in a room with strangers. I cried.