December 22, 2010 was a whirlwind day. Waiting for the doctors to reveal what the plan of action was going to be was comparable to a jail sentence. It is like you are stuck in this place and there is no escape and all you can do is painfully wait. The day was full of different tests. The MRI, swallow tests, and others. We had requested prayer from our church, Grace Church in Mooresville, and we were provided one better. A true angel, Linda Hilligoss, showed up to spend some time with us and her timing was perfect. We were summoned to a meeting with the surgeon and Linda stayed in the room with Brianna and played with her and comforted her.
The surgeon sat down with us to go over the results of the MRI and she said that she did not see any reason at this time that she would need to insert a shunt. This could possibly be something that would be required down the road and she gave us signs to watch for at home. We asked various questions and of course the question of a future for Bri came up. The surgeon told us that she could not say that Bri would ever see her teens, 20’s or 30’s. She deferred further details of prognosis to the oncology doctor who we were to meet soon after her meeting. I looked at her and told her that I hoped that when my daughter turned 20 years old that she would be walking through the door of Riley Hospital to tell her Hello. She mentioned that she hoped that as well.
Over the rest of the day and the next we met the oncology doctor that would head up Bri’s case as far as her chemo treatment went and we also sat down with the doctor who would be responsible for her radiation treatment. We were surrounded by many visits from coworkers, friends, and family. The oncologist explained more about her tumor such as the location, which is the pons, and what the initial plan of attack was. We were going to do a mix of radiation and chemo for six weeks and evaluate further treatment after that cycle ended. At the end of the meeting I felt a slight sense of hope. When we left that meeting we went back to the room and waited for our next meeting.
The sense of hope that I felt after the oncologist meeting was quickly dashed when we met with the radiologist. He was direct and did not give me the best feeling that my daughter had a chance to beat this. I was angry at him. I was scared. I was heart broken. We were sent from that meeting only knowing that they would advise us after the holidays to tell us when we would get started on the chemo and radiation. The rest of that day and that night were very hard for us. Angie was just totally heartbroken. I could not stop looking at my daughter and thinking that I might never see her drive a car. I might not get to see her come down the stairs in her prom dress. I might not get to see her walk across the stage and receive her diploma. I might not ever see her married and enjoying children of her own. Angie and I cried ourselves to sleep again that night.
December 23 was the day we got to come home. The doctors wanted Bri to be able to spend Christmas in her own home waking up in her own bed. We were scared to take her home but we did want to spend Christmas with all of our family. Derek was doing a great job of taking care of Tori but she needed us home too. We packed up and came home to celebrate Christmas and honor Jesus.