Friday, October 17, 2008

CAT Scan Fever

This morning, Pablo had a routine Ultrasound of his abdomen. We were scheduled to do this as an out-patient procedure—it's coincidental and convenient that Pablo woke up at CHLA today and was able to roll downstairs without putting his shoes on.

They examined his entire abdomen, his liver, the partial left kidney, and the blank space where the right kidney used to be. Dr Mascarenhas reviewed it, along with Drs Hardy and Stein. The spot formerly known as Pablo's right kidney looks great. No probs visible in the liver. All great news. The left partial kidney is a different story. There is a spot on it. And that concerns Dr M.

He ran Jo Ann through the list of what it could be. There are two plausible options on that list other than a recurrence of a tumor. It could be a blood clot. It could be the growth of the kidney lookin' funky on the Ultrasound. The third and least likely option is, in fact, a tumor recurrence. It's unlikely cos of the intensity of the chemo treatments, and the solid course of radiation Pablo received last month. It's also because the margins on the removal of the O.G. tumor were very good. Lastly, it's not likely to be a new tumor because it's statistically improbable with the favorable histology of that kidney. We like to use the stats only when they work in our favor. Otherwise, we don't have much use for the numbers. We take it one hour, one day at a time.

What is in our next hour is a CAT scan. This is the next step up the imaging ladder. They will inject a contrast fluid into Pablo's port, and scan his kidney. This will instantly give the doctors a high rez view of what's going on in there. that we have all the facts 'n figures out of the way, let's talk about the emotional part. This is the most important part. I feel like I haven't talked recently about emotions in motion. This is the stuff that truly rules the world. How we connect with ourselves, with one another. When we got Dr M's CT scan email at noon, I called Jo Ann. Dr M was already in the room talking to her about the situation.

I could tell from the sound of her voice that something was up. 'You should come back here right away,' she said. I had just walked into the office after being out at meetings all morning. I wolfed down a couple more bites of my lunch, grabbed my bag, and headed out. On the short drive down Sunset Boulevard, I cried. It started out slow, my eyes filling with tears. I let it happen. I did not hold it back. My welled-up eyes gave way to outright weeping. It felt good. I needed to express my sadness, my overwhelmedness, my f**cking why-can't-this-just-be-done anger. It was hard to drive. I was happy for each red light I hit. More time to let out the tornado before reaching my destination—my pale, bruised, skinny little happy, hilarious, lovely little boy.

When I walked into the lobby at CHLA, Hrishi was stepping out of the Blood Bank. I'd emailed him 90 minutes earlier, asking if he and his fiancee Lindsey could donate blood. He dropped everything and came over, bringing his friend Andy May. Seeing Hrishi made me feel safe, made me feel protected and looked after. He has that effect on people. Especially when he appears in front of you on a day like today. Hrishi, by the way, is the man who keeps this blog looking great, and functioning properly. He has designed all the 'cover pages' and fixes any technical glitches within minutes of my 'help!' emails. He is also an artist on Dangerbird Records—his band is called
The One AM Radio. Check out his music. It's totally a view into his soul.

When I walked into the room, he and Polly were playing a game. He was laughing. Jo Ann was sitting in the big blue chair. I breathed a sigh of relief. The world is outside. I am here now, with three-fourths of my family. All is OK. In this moment.

We will keep you up to date on the result of the CT scan.

Please send your love + light our way.


Dawn: said...

Sending you all my love and prayers.

Anonymous said...

Jeff, I know and feel your fear, anger, sadness... the whole crappy enchilada. I often cry on my commute from my home in HB to Chino... the demons doubt and what if get the best of me. My son Corey also has Wilms and has delt w/ two recurrences. Jo Ann and I have had quick hello's and best wishes via email. We will keep you all in our prayers in hopes this recent news is anything other than new cancer!

God Bless!
Travis (Corey's Father)

Jackson said...

Sending lots of love, prayers and strength your way.

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you guys and sending our positive energy your way.

MKPatrick said...

Sending love & light and perfect health...
The Patrix

Lizard Eater said...

Our thoughts are with you. I wonder if there is a chance that it could be a nephrogenic rest? When there was a "spot" on LW's scan last spring, they thought it could be tumor, scarring, or a "rest."

(If so, a rest is NOT a tumor. It's just some irregular cells.)