Friday, May 09, 2014

Goodbye, tumor!

Most of my friends and family know that my daughter, Jennifer, has had a tumor in her arm for some time. Thankfully, the tumor is not cancerous. When her doctor discovered it was a tumor, he theorized that perhaps it had developed from Jennifer keeping her arm in a certain position for extended periods of time. Jennifer admitted that she did have her arm a certain way a lot because she’s an artist. Who knows if this is why the tumor developed. I was only glad it was not cancerous! (Especially since I was dealing with my own cancer scare at the time.)

The doctor suggested removal of the tumor and he also referred Jennifer to a hospital in Portland. Unfortunately, all the scheduling, paperwork and communication in getting the surgery set up was taking an awful long time. We just bid our time, trying to get it scheduled whenever it got scheduled.

Then Jennifer started complaining about pain in that arm. I was shocked when she told me it hurt every time she pushed with that arm. It even hurt when she tried to brush her hair.

After this happened, we knew she had to get rid of that tumor FAST! My husband started contacting the hospital more often to see if they could schedule her surgery ASAP. They finally did schedule it and we made preparations for the big day.

Now, this would be Jennifer’s very first surgery, at age 12. (Jesse had surgery on his eyes when he was 2.) So she was a little nervous and a little scared about it. I could not entirely relate; after my car accident at age 20 months, I was in and out of hospitals and had so many surgeries by the time I was her age that I had no idea what she could’ve been feeling. But I tried to comfort her the best way I could and I assured her she would be okay. I also told her everybody was praying for her and thinking of her. And her best friends definitely became a strong support system for her.

I also made sure Jen got to have as much fun as possible up until the day of her surgery. I arranged for her to have sleepovers and playdates with her friends. I also made her favorite meals for dinner (she even made dinner one night!) and we went out a lot to do stuff. (I’ve been dealing with a stomach bug all week and haven’t felt so great but I went out with her as much as I could.) We also watched movies and had a lot of time just talking and spending time with each other. Yesterday, I took her out shopping and to buy frozen yogurt at TCBY and just spoiled her.

Today was the big day of her surgery. It was such a stressful day for me. I tried to stay strong and told her she will be fine. I reminded her she’ll probably be a lot happier after this surgery because she won’t have to deal with that pain anymore.

But during the time she was in surgery, I just stressed out. It was hard not to be at the hospital with her, but I knew the decision to stay home because of my not feeling well was the right one to make. My husband texted me when she went into the operating room and I was just a nervous wreck pacing around the house and praying. I did A LOT of praying! It helped I had Jesse to take care of, to take my mind off of it, but it was hard. After 3 hours of no news, I was ready to text my husband but he texted me first to let me know Jen was out of surgery and she was okay. It was a success. The tumor was gone and she was fine. THANK GOD!!

I was just so relieved. And I was happy, too. I texted everyone in the know to let them know Jen was out of surgery and doing okay, and I posted the news on Facebook, too.

Now, one thing I knew about this arrangement was that I might not be able to spend Mother’s Day with Jennifer in the hospital. The hospital is in Portland and I am in Eugene. That’s 2 1/2 hours away. I was really upset about the prospect of not being with my daughter on Mother’s Day, especially with her being in the hospital. It’s so hard to be apart from my daughter. (We are very close.) My husband’s car is a two-seater, so even if he came to get me to take me to Portland on Sunday, there was no room for Jesse in the car. So, I was basically stuck here. However, my friend offered to let us use her van and we were very close to considering it. I had hoped that stomach bug would get better but it did not.  So, because of this, we decided I would not be at that hospital on Mother’s Day. This was a really hard decision for me to make. I felt better after doing 2 things: I wrote Jen a very special poem just for her and told her she could only read it on Mother’s Day, and also I decided I would call her via relay on Mother’s Day. She would get to see what it was like to get a call from a deaf person on relay for the very first time! When I told her about this, she actually got excited and looked forward to it.

Even so, I was feeling a little bummed. I have been trying to write a Mother’s Day story and it hasn’t been easy because it makes me think of my mom and I still miss her so much. I still grieve over her passing. It’s really hard. Then I got an idea for a title: “The Mother’s Day Miracle.” Is this a new Mother’s Day story? The title is not the one I am using but that title has stuck in my head for a few days now.

And I am beginning to realize why. Today I was told that Jennifer might come home from the hospital tomorrow. She just might be home for Mother’s Day after all! That would certainly be a Mother’s Day miracle.

I am just glad this is all over with.

NOTE: Forgot to add that I do have a car that would fit all of us into it, but my car needs a part and would not be able to make it to Portland.


Millie said...

That's cool that you let her have lots of fun before her surgery. Glad she was able to come home! :)

Dawn Colclasure said...

Thank you. :) Me, too. She said she didn't like being at the hospital but she's glad she didn't have to stay very long. She said it was nice that they gave her ice cream. :) I'm just glad Jason got to stay with her. That made it a lot less stressful for me. Oh: The surgeon at the hospital said the bump in her arm was not a tumor, it was an overgrowth of veins. Her doctor told me it was a tumor -- I even asked him straight out if it was and he said yes -- but the surgeon said otherwise. I guess the only way to know what that thing was was to open up her arm and actually LOOK at it. Either way, we're all glad it's gone!