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The surgeon finally arrived in the waiting room to give us the details of his surgery.  He told us he removed the tumor and all that was left was cancer in his lymph nodes on the left side of his abdomen.  Shortly after, they wheeled Mason in front of the waiting room so we could see him before they took him into ICU.  He was very swollen and still sedated from the surgery.  I remember tubes coming out of his nose, full of blood being sucked from his stomach and the catheter was causing him great pain.  My wife didn’t sleep.  She watched over him all night, attending to his every need. 

The next afternoon, they moved us to a new room on the cancer floor.  I’d never seen so many babies that had cancer in all my life.  I felt broken in so many places.  How could this be happening?  It was happening!   Reality set in yet again when Mason’s doctor came to check on him.  He said “We need to speak in private.  Can someone sit with Mason so we can talk?”  Ok, neither one of us could stand more bad news, but it looked like he had another spoon full for us to swallow.

We went with him to a meeting room just down the hall from Mason’s room.  As we sat there, the doctor pulled out a file and a sheet of paper, and said “Mason will need to have chemotherapy.”  He then proceeded to tell us about the treatment plan and how long Mason would need to be in the hospital.  The cost was unbelievable.  Then the doctor moved on to the side effects, which were… hearing loss, kidney and liver failure, possible heart transplant, won’t be able to reproduce, may get leukemia from the treatment and will end up losing his teeth.  He topped it off by saying “but you’ll be able to enjoy having him around for a while, as he could live until the age of 40.”  The way he nonchalantly explained this, made me feel like he was selling us a used car and whatever happened after we pulled off the lot wasn’t his problem.  It was sickening.  With those odds, how could a parent feel good about making a judgment call on the life of their child?  How could his doctor act like this was no big deal?  That was our baby in that room; he is not a car getting a timing belt replaced!!  I was hurt, angry, confused.  So if we allowed the doctors to give him this chemo, he’s going to get another form of cancer?  Really!!! 

His doctor told us we needed to get a picc line put into his chest.  This line taps right into the main vein/artery going to the heart.  I guess they do this now because the chemo would typically burn up the veins in the hands and arms. This was a much bigger, harder to burn up vein (going to the heart). 

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