Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The hand of God

Or in this case...the fist of God (almost literally).

I don't often blog about personal details of mine or my family's lives, but in this case....well, it's one of those stranger than fiction sagas that leave me in awe of how things work out. I do believe in karma and try to give more than I take. And although I believe in God, I, for one, don't believe that SHE meddles personally in people's lives. She created us, gave us free will, and left us to do the best we can. But this incident has left me wondering.

I have a 14 year old daughter who's been plagued by a variety of symptoms since she was little. Headaches, ADD, short-term memory loss (mostly about turning in her homework, hmmmm), odd shaped retinas, teenage angst (she's seeing a counselor and on medication), seeing shadows (is she paranormally sensitive?) and high blood pressure (also on medication). We've taken her to the Dr. to deal with all of them, especially the headaches which were timed for months and determined to have a 28 day cycle (and assumed to be related to her menses).

Then two weeks ago, one of our neighbors died suddenly. It was thought that he committed suicide. Well, it upset my daughter to the point where she excused herself from class one day to cry in the bathroom. Unfortunately, she didn't let her teacher know, so since she didn't make it to class, she was declared "truant" and sentenced to Saturday school.

That was this past Saturday. Concidently, a guy who had been teasing her was also in Saturday school. Throughout the morning, the teasing escalated into some name-calling, pushing, shoving, slapping, and finally a knock-out punch! My daughter (who was just as much to blame as she slapped him first) was taken to the hospital and given a CAT scan.

The diagnosis -- no issues from the fight AND a possible brain tumor. A craniopharyngioma. Scary shit. A brain stem cancer that's benign but malignant all the same breath. Wonderful!

My world slowed to a stop. Everything I thought was important is now so insignificant compared to this.

A trip to our Pediatrician yesterday resulted in an emergency MRI last night. Then, a call today -- the radiologist needed yet another diagnostic test as the MRI didn't quite agree with the CT scan. Okay. Not knowing what that meant, we rushed to the laboratory for blood work and then a three-hour wait for the machine as they had to work us into the already full schedule.

After the test was done, we rushed back to the Dr's office to discuss the findings. What a difference 20 minutes can make. The diagnosis is still scary (an old calcified anuerism in her right temporal lobe), but nothing compared to the original CT diagnosis of a brain stem cancer. We see a neurosurgeon tomorrow to discuss the options.

This explains soooo many of her symptoms, all treated by so many different doctors and never strung together to make a diagnosis strong enough to warranty a brain scan. Which leads me to wonder if we would have EVER found this without the fist fight -- until it was too late? I doubt it.

I feel like our family has been touched by the hand of God.

6 comments:

Darcy Campbell said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I have a friend going through brain cancer and it isnt pretty.

Thumbs up on the good news and I hope God's hand keeps watching protectively over you, your daughter and the rest of your family.

Darcy Campbell said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I have a friend going through brain cancer and it isnt pretty.

Thumbs up on the good news and I hope God's hand keeps watching protectively over you, your daughter and the rest of your family.

Patty Q said...

Ericka-
My heart goes out to you. I was in your shoes in 2001 when my 15 year old son had a craniopharyngioma found on MRI. He also had many symptoms, seeing various doctors with little relief when his tumor was found. He is in college now, doing well, but also coping with the loss of his pituitary gland from surgery and all the replacment hormones that requires. A wonderful resouce for us has been Braintrust.org a support organization out of Massachusetts which does wonderful things, including sponsoring a craniopharyngioma list. My best advice is not to rush into treatment without seeing some experts, as there are many different approaches to treating this tumor. It is a fairly rare tumor also, so it is important to find doctors with lots of experience in treating them. You all will be in my prayers.
Patty

Cole said...

Oh Ericka! I'm so relieved to hear the 'good' news. I agree, what seemed like a bad thing at first was a miracle in the works. You all will be in my thoughts and prayers!

Cole

skirbo said...

Ericka,

Not much to do here but offer you my support. And suggest that you send the young man to anger management class as a thank you.

I think God points you where you need to be whenever you need to be there. I hope surgery will relieve her symptoms and make life easier for all of you.

Hugs,
Sarah

Emma Petersen said...

Huge hugs Ericka. You, your baby girl and family are in my thoughts and prayers.

I think that young man needs a talking to though. He's obviously not been told that men don't hit women under any circumstance.