“His spine looks clear and overall, his brain looks amazing, but…”
But. How that one little word changes the tone. Chase’s attending neuro-oncologist’s voice never wavered as he went on to tell us that for the first time since a January Thursday in 2013, Chase’s MRI is not clear.
There are several small growths in and around the original tumor site.
They were not there three months ago.
He emphasized that the growths are small, but they’ve grown in a fairly short time span and there appears to be a cyst-like quality to them.
Chase’s initial baseball tumor had a cyst-like quality too.
We’ve been told that there is cause for concern, but not necessarily for alarm. Something growing where nothing should grow is not a good thing, but there is a chance that these small growths may be delayed side effects from his days in the radiation center.
Early this next week, Chase’s MRI will be taken to a large gathering of all the doctors who work with brain tumors. We are so blessed to have the collective mind of neuro-oncologists, neurosurgeons, radiation-oncologists, and many others working through the possibilities of care for our son. After the tumor board convenes, we will conference with Chase’s doctors to determine a plan for Chase and to discuss various care options.
Our hearts are overwhelmed with this new knowledge. In the few short hours we’ve known it, we’ve vacillated again and again between peace that passes our understanding and a deep, sad terror with the question “How can it possibly be anything but this cancer again?”.
The knowing is a heavy thing, and yet, Chase is still Chase: jumping off the scale just to make the nurses gasp…insisting that he couldn’t be in pre-op room he was given because it had a pink wall and “Pink is for girls! Ew, gross!”…
When I got off the phone last night, I pulled him aside and told him that there was something on the MRI. I told him that there were some bumps that shouldn’t be there and that he shouldn’t be surprised if his doctors wanted to check up on him more. He looked at me, nodded his head sagely in the way that only he can, and said: “Okay. Don’t tell me anything else. May I go outside?”.
In the few short hours of this heavy knowing, his response has become very precious to me. He can’t completely understand the full picture of what could be ahead, but he doesn’t need to. That’s for us as his parents to know. He has his portion of the information and he can move on in peace for the moment because we are planning for whatever will be needed.
Just so is our necessary response to our Abba, our Father: He’s given us our portion for the day and we don’t know what will come tomorrow or next week, but we can say with certainty “Don’t tell me anything else” and move on in peace because He knows and He sees and has already planned for whatever is ahead…
…moment by moment.
“I stand upon the mount of God with sunlight in my soul; I hear the storms and vales beneath, I heat the thunders role. But I am calm with Thee, my God, beneath these glorious skies; and to the height on which I stand, no storms, no clouds can rise. O, this is life! O this is joy, my God, to find Thee so: They face to see, Thy voice to hear, and all Thy love to know.” Horatius Bonar