A Crushing Blow

Late October and November of 2010 were consumed with life as normal. Tori was taking pitching and hitting lessons and Brianna was doing her mixed class of dance and gymnastics. The rest of us were doing our things as well. Brianna was having issues with what we thought was a cold but was unable to shake it. Because she complained heavily on the weekends we ended up taking her to the minute clinic at a local pharmacy and, when symptoms did not clear, to a prompt med. These visits were over a three to four week period and she had been diagnosed with an upper respiratory infection that had not gotten any better.

As a matter of fact, some new symptoms showed up and we began to be concerned about what could be wrong but still hanging on to hope that it was something minor. The new symptoms showing up were stumbling when she stood up from the couch, always leaning her head to the left, and later, drooling. We finally got her in to see our family pediatrician and she explained that some deep set infections could cause the symptoms we were seeing and she prescribed a very strong antibiotic that was to run for ten days. At the end of the ten days Angie called the pediatrician to get Bri in because, other than her upper respiratory infection, there were no changes. The date was December 21, 2010. The doctor checked her out and said that she was clear of the respiratory infection but was concerned that the other symptoms were still present and immediately sent us to get a CT scan.

We had the scan done and was told we could go home and we would be called in an hour or so once the scan was read. It turned out to be about 90 minutes which seemed a lifetime. The phone rang and Ang immediately handed the phone to me and went upstairs. I answered the phone and the words I heard are burnt into my head like a bad dream. “The scan shows a mass in your daughters head. We would like you to go to Riley immediately, They are waiting for you in the ER.” I hung up the phone and walked up the stairs, fear welling up inside me. I did not want to have to tell Angie. What was I going to say? How could I make this better? I stepped inside the door and shut it behind me as my voice cracked I said, “They found a mass. They want us at Riley now.” I am not sure Angie even really heard all my words because she was screaming through her tears, ” Why? Why?” Our lives, at that very moment, felt like slow motion as we readied for the trip to Riley and what would seem like the longest drive of my entire life..

More coming soon.

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