Wednesday, February 9, 2011

What a day!

     Today started out just like any other day.  I woke up spent my time with the Lord, walked with a friend and then came home to start the morning routine.  Today was my work day and so the morning seemed a little rushed as usual.  Zion woke up late so I didn't get my usual morning snuggle time in.  I am so grateful God allowed me a quick minute to grab up my son and cuddle him before I got ready for my day.  Still in his footies I looked down and saw some tiny pinhead sized purple spots on his right hand and lower arm.  Of course my nursing skills kicked directly in and I stripped him down to his diaper and began examining ever nook and cranny of his little naked body.  More little purple spots began popping up here and there.  With each small dot my anxiety level rose.  I am a bit of a paranoid mother and couple that with being a nurse that is exposed now to all kinds of pediatric illness and cancer and you get a recipe for disaster.  The scales tipped when he was eating breakfast and I noticed little black spots on his tongue. 
     I immediately reached for the phone and contacted the advice nurse.  I was placed on hold for a ten minute period that felt like an eternity.  There were no appointments available so I insisted the advice nurse have a Dr. Call me for a telephone consult.  She assured me that a Dr. would call me within a four hour period.  I could tell by the tone in her voice based on my description of his symptoms the concern was mutual.  
     Knowing that I needed to go to work due to my lack of sick time I put on my best poker face and went in.  On my way into work I called my prayer warriors and alerted them and asked them to spread the word. Within 15 minutes of being at work Jeremy called to tell me that the Dr. had called and wanted us to bring Zion in as soon as possible.  Confirmation once again that my mothers heart and nursing experience was speaking very loudly that this was not something to be taken lightly.  
     We arrived at the clinic and were taken back to meet the Dr. who examined Zion very thoroughly and immediately explained to us that he would be ordering STAT blood work to determine what was happening to our son.  The next few sentences that spilled from his mouth rocked Jeremy and I to our very core.  He said that based on Zion's symptoms we could be looking at one of two things...  the first being something called ITP: idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, a bleeding disorder in which the immune system destroys platelets, which are necessary for normal blood clotting.  This he explained would be the best of the two scenarios due to the fact that the alternative was the possibility of Zion having Leukemia.  He explained if Zion was diagnosed with ITP it may require steroid treatment and blood transfusions but it was definitely the diagnosis we wanted to hear.  We were then instructed to go to the lab, get some lunch and return to the clinic to review his test results in person.  Ok I am a nurse but even the layperson knows reviewing labs in person  means he is expecting those labs to be abnormal and possibly bad news.  We left the clinic in absolute shock and entered a three hour period of time in our life that was the most fear filled, life flash before your eyes, sad, confusing, overwhelming, "what if"thinking, absolutely HORRIBLE time of our lives.
     The lab experience was horrid and it took two sticks and two different techs to finally get his specimen.  He was not afraid to let the whole world know that this sucked and he was not ok with what they were doing to him.  Poor little guy, already having bruising issues was left with a couple of nasty additional "war wounds" after all was said and done.
     We left the lab drove home, fed Zion and changed him out of his goofy Christmas footies, Daddy had to bring him to the clinic in, in such a rush.  As we sat at the table and talked Jeremy spoke of a thought that had been haunting him all day.  Yesterday, he signed up to participate and organized a team from the shop to shave their heads to support childhood cancer research through Saint Baldricks this coming March.  Yes, you will be hearing more about this in upcoming emails.  And, yes, Jeremy is going to shave off all of those lovely locks that I am so madly in love with.  We were just humbled by the irony of this and what we were now facing the possibility of.  Talk about hitting close to home.  I admitted, I too was having the same thoughts running through my head.  The rest of the time we cried, hugged, prayed and then set out on the journey back across town to meet with the Dr. to hear Zion's lab results.  During this drive I prayed probably harder than I have ever prayed in my entire life. Except of course when I prayed for him to survive through my pregnancy.  Boy this little boy has given my knees a real run for their money in his very short little life so far.  Anyhow, I pleaded with God "please spare my son from Cancer.  Please God I beg you!!! But God, if you can't then please give us the courage and strength to face whatever journey you will place before us."
     We are so grateful that the first words out of the Dr.'s mouth were..."Well he doesn't have Leukemia!"  The next words..."but he does have ITP."  This, as I have said to many of you..."Was the best, "shitty" news I have heard in my entire life!"  Praise God!!!  We do have some uncharted waters to face and more than likely a lot more horrid lab experiences (sometimes twice a week apparently).  However, we will take this over the alternative anytime!!  Tomorrow we will meet with a Hematologist and gain more understanding of where we go from here.  We do know he has a "VERY LOW" platelet count (which helps with blood clotting) and this is not the best combination for a one year old BOY that is learning to walk.  Yikes!  Please pray for safety and protection from injury as we try to protect our little dare devil from hurting himself! 
     We left the office and it was as if someone pushed the decompress button.  As unknown as our future looks concerning this we felt such a relief after his diagnosis.  I am so humbled by the fact that parents all over the world, on a daily basis face what we did not have to today.  They enter a Dr.'s office and hear that their beautiful child has Cancer.  They have prayed just as hard as we have and for whatever reason they got a different answer. I am overwhelmed and have a brand new perspective on those that walk through this "valley of the shadow of death."  I am just once again, simply overwhelmed by this.
     Throughout this entire experience we were receiving texts, phone calls, voicemails and Facebook posts from all of you who knew what was going on.  I can honestly say, as afraid as we were your prayers and love were felt so profoundly by the both of us.  I told my friend and Pastor that I have no idea how people get through these type of life moments and not have the support of friends, family and The Body of Christ to be praying and lifting them up.  It is the most beautiful and comforting thing to know that you are not in the trenches alone.  Thank you to everyone who has been lifting us up in prayer and sending love our way.  We ask that you continue to hold our family & specifically "Our little warrior" up as we enter this next phase of this journey.  We promise to keep you posted along the way.  Goodnight, for now..this mama needs some sleep..ZZZZ
Our little warrior taking a "swipe" at his not so happy big sister:)
Zion and Roxy playing in the sand just three days ago.  
Our family in Bodega on Monday!


Sophie said...

i am so sorry. what a journey youve had this past week. Thanks for sharing, I know how much you wanted this little guy in your life :-) God keep you all and cause his face to shine on and through you in this process. .

Rachael said...

Wow. I too am very sorry. I can't imagine what you are going through. It is so inspiring and humbling to see how much faith and strength you have in your Lord Jesus. Isn't is amazing that we have such a powerful God who can change any situation at any time if it is in our best interest? We can trust that He wants what is best for us. What a relief that God has spared Z from cancer, all though hearing the news your baby has any life altering illness has got to be the most horrid news any mother (and father) could ever hear. Thank you for posting this. You all are in my thoughts and prayers. I am here for you guys if you need anything! We love you all!

Amber said...

All I can say is, Wow. I am so happy that this is the way things worked out. Three years ago my sister was in your shoes, but received the other diagnosis. She realized what she was dealing with when the doctor office she was sent to said "pediatric cancer" on the sign out front.

Since then, St Baldrick's has done so much for my nephew and his doctor's office. They are a great organization that does so much for those suffering through childhood cancer. Thank you Jeremy and DeAnna for being willing to part with your hair for such a good cause.

We will continue to pray for Zion and you guys, as any illness is difficult and painful to go through with your child.

Love, Amber

lowranchero said...

hey deanna,

i wish i didn't know exactly how you feel but i do. two months ago we learned that our beautiful little boy milo has down syndrome. our lives have taken an unimaginable turn. each day we grow a little stronger and fall more deeply in love with our son. i can feel through your words that zion will never lack for love and what ever turns your lives take you will be ok. you are all in my prayers, daniel

lowranchero said...

hey deana,

btw, it's daniel moreno, (lowranchero).