Last weekend was pretty similar to most weekends. Did a little housework, ran some errands, caught up on odds and ends, hung out with my hubby. I usually talk with my girls and my mom on the weekend and see what's happening with everyone. When I talked with Bonnie, she said Emery had been congested and not sleeping well, seemed to have a little cold, a bit of a fever. They'd talked with an on-call pediatrician and it didn't sound major. One thing was a little odd--her eyelid was droopy and didn't open all the way, but it wasn't red or matted or running. Bonnie took Emery to the doctor on Monday and the eye thing was kinda weird but it sounded like she just had a cold or a virus. They did some lab work and she went back to the doctor again on Tuesday for a follow up and some more lab tests. At this point, I may be getting things mixed up because it's been a whirlwind of a week. I talked with Bonnie early in the day and they were going to the hospital for the additional lab work. The next thing I knew, I had a phone call from Sarah saying Emery was being admitted to the hospital. More tests, including a lumbar puncture (poor baby) and, first, a diagnosis of pneumonia. Further tests and a dreaded phone call telling us that Emery did not have pneumonia, but a tumor on her lung, pressing against her trachea and her spine. What a shocking, overwhelming, confusing, scary word to hear. It's amazing how your brain just doesn't want to grasp information like this. I kept thinking I was having one of my strange dreams and would wake up so thankful that it wasn't real. Then consultation with several medical professionals and another word: "neuroblastoma." This is when it feels like the whole world is spinning and there's no way to find equilibrium. She's only six weeks old. She was perfectly healthy and happy just a few days ago. How can this be? Not our sweet, tiny, beautiful girl.
I believe it when people say that days can go by in a blur. I can't remember what happened which day and what I've told to whom. The information and treatment options and recommendations kept changing day by day, almost by the hour sometimes. Yesterday it was decided that Emery would be transferred to Texas Children's Hospital in Houston. She and Bonnie were care-flighted out late last night; David and his mom took a regular flight to be there as well. Sarah flew in today to be with them. I am on my way, sitting in the Anchorage airport waiting for my next flight at 1:30 AM--from here to Salt Lake City and then on to Houston, arriving Sunday afternoon. Meanwhile, baby Emery has already been through all kinds of medical intervention, including a biopsy and placement of a port for chemotherapy, which was scheduled to begin tonight. There is concern about the neuroblastoma being close to her spine so the doctors want to shrink it with chemo and then maybe do surgery. Although I worked with babies and kids with medical problems and disabilities for years, it's a totally different feeling when it's one of your own. I can't imagine what Bonnie and David are going through as parents if I am feeling this terrible as the grandmother. It's such a helpless feeling to know that that precious little girl is having to undergo major medical treatment at such a young age and there's not a thing we can do about it but wait and watch and pray.
The good news is that she seems to be tolerating everything well at this point--they say babies are resilient and able to to get through it better than older kids and adults. For that I am extremely grateful. My lighthearted blog, my year of elevation, and posts about cats and weather and Unalaska happenings is taking a turn for the most serious as we put all of our energies toward Emery and her treatment and recovery. I will be staying with the kids as long as they need me and am very thankful for a kind and understanding husband as well as a fabulous employer, coworkers and friends who have stepped up to help with a looming fundraiser that's really my responsibility. It's true that an emergency situation will show you who really cares and who really will stand by you and support you. What a fortunate family we are that we have all just been showered with care and concern and love and support by more people than we can count.
Please keep Emery in your thoughts and prayers as we embark down a new path.