"An ambulance ride? What...is...happening?"
This is where I found myself Tuesday night, looking down at him laying on the gurney, Landon looking as shell-shocked as I felt. It's alright, I said to him. Cool ambulance, right? It's alright, I said. I mostly believed it.
It had been a long 3 weeks or so. Landon was sick on and off, mostly on, the entire time. A couple of visits to the pediatrician, a couple of visits to Urgent Care, antibiotics, hives, tylenol, benadryl, persistent cough, pneumonia but maybe-not-we-can't-really-tell, prednisolone. Where was his energy? Where was his color?
After a blood test and X-ray was ordered and given, we went home. But not for long.
Another blood test was needed. The machine might have made a mistake when it analyzed the draw. We were told to go the ER right away. This...was disconcerting. Also, getting blood drawn again angered me a little. I absolutely hated watching him go through it the first time. Now twice in a day?
The new tests confirmed it. Red blood cell counts low. White blood cell counts really low. Neutrophils, the wbc that works as the first line of defense against bacteria, zero. None.
Amy and I had just enough time to run home separately and grab some things. We were going for a ride.
By the time we were out of one ER, into another at Boston Children's Hospital, and into a private room, it was 3:00 am. That's a long time to be awake for anybody, even worse for a 4 year old. He was tired. He was drained. But, he was still patient. He was as tolerant as he could be. He was being so brave.
It was a whirlwind couple of days after that. I couldn't even tell you how many times blood was drawn, fevers were addressed, IVs were set or reset, and questions were asked. Questions, without answers. Lots of "We don't know yet", and "It could be this it, it could be that". Maybe viral. Parvovirus? Nope. Fifth Disease? Nope. Mono? Nope.
And on the list, it sat there, not crossed off yet. Leukemia.
And so it was, on Thursday. A bone marrow biopsy was taken from his hip, under anesthesia. We had our first visit to a "consult room" soon after. It may as well be called the "bad news" room, a cramped and confined space for private conversations where most of the time they tell you things you don't want to hear. The bone marrow was really hard, packed with extra cells. It was getting harder for the doctors to hide what they already suspected. She wanted to be 99.99999% sure before she could say for sure. In our hearts, Amy and I knew that meant she was already 99% sure.
It was official a couple of hours later.
There is a lot of support here. We've gotten plenty of advice, loads of resources, and lots of love to go around. We were encouraged to keep a journal, and I think this is going to be that, for me at least. It's only been a few days, but I am constantly amazed at how strong Landon has been so far. He's only 4 years old for heaven's sake, he shouldn't have to deal with this. We will all be brave together.
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