What Do You Mean, a ‘Growth’?

My baby has a brain tumor.  My baby has a brain tumor.  My little sweet baby has a brain tumor.  I keep saying it.  I keep thinking it.  I still can’t believe it is true.  A few days ago, as I got ready for work, the house was empty.  My husband had already taken Bug and Elbow to my parent’s house.  My mother watches them while we work.  My mother loves my daughters dearly and does a wonderful job caring for them, teaching them, playing with them.  Bug and Elbow love their Nana.

This particular morning, I found myself with an extra 7 minutes before I had to leave for work.  I sat down to eat some yogurt while watching the news.  As I watched the weather report, my house phone rang.  Odd.  I saw from the Caller ID that it was my mom.  I answered.


“Jane, I need you to come here” she said through tears.

“What happened?”

“I don’t know how it happened.  I dropped her.  Bug.”

“Is she ok?”

“She is crying.  She is hurt.  Please come right away.”

And I left right away.  On the way there (about a 23 minute drive door-to-door) I imagined the scenario.  My expectation, my mom was overreacting.  I was sure Bug was hurt, but I was also sure that she would be OK.  I remained calm, reminding myself of my mother’s tendency to panic.  When I arrived at my parents’ house, Bug was still crying.  There was a very visible bump and bruise on her head.  My mom was also crying and she held my daughter.  I took Bug into my arms and tried to calm her down.  As I did, my mom told me that my daughter had thrown up twice since her fall.

That was it.  We were going to the Emergency Room.  I changed her diaper and her clothes, I packed a small diaper bag and we were off.  My mother, too frazzled to drive, stayed in the back seat making sure Bug didn’t fall asleep.  The drive to the hospital is not a long one, but this time, it seemed to take hours.  Every cry from my child rang in my ears.

Once in the ER, they got us into a room right away.  Since Bug continued to vomit, the doctor recommended a CT scan.  I agreed.  My daughter seemed to be getting worse.  She could not stay awake.  She looked pale.  I was worried. About 10 minutes after the CT scan, the doctor came in and said she was sending us to another hospital since the CT scan showed “a bleed” on Bug’s brain.  This worried me.  She fell so hard that her brain was bleeding?  At the time, it felt like I didn’t have time to think.  Before I knew it the doctor was back and saying things had changed.

“The radiologist has looked at the CT Scan and it is showing a growth on her brain.  You will be transferred to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU).  I have already ordered the transfer ambulance.”

“A growth?”

The room spun.  I could not focus on anything.  People came in and out of the room, nurses I think.  They poked holes and IVs into my daughter and looked at me with sadness and pity in their eyes.

The next thing I know, my husband and I are standing over our daughter who is laying in steel crib in the PICU and talking to a pediatric neurosurgeon.  I am hearing words like tumor and brain surgery echoing through my head.   He believes it is benign.  He believes he can remove it.  He believes she will be just fine.

I still can’t believe this is happening.


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