Fear for my child's future, fear for her well being, for her health, for her safety... fear for her life.
Over the last two years, that fear has slowly subsided and been replaced with a determination that we would not be beaten. We have faced insurmountable battles and we have triumphed, we have challenged the odds and won. Each new victory bought with it a stronger sense of unbeatableness.
Today, I find that feeling of insurmountable unbeatability has not only wavered, but it has been shaken to it's very roots.
Today I was told that my daughter most likely has cancer.
Over the past couple of months she has become more and more irritable and miserable. Over the last two weeks in particular she has started showing signs of bloating and abdominal distention. We saw her paediatrician last Thursday who did some urgent x-rays, suspecting that she had a blockage or impaction in her bowel.
The x-rays showed that there was nothing clearly wrong, so the Doctor ordered an abdominal ultrasound to have a closer look.
The ultrasound today that revealed a rather large mass in her pelvis. The ultrasound report says;
"10.5cm x 9.0cm x 11.0cm solid mass in the pelvis displaying internal vascularity."
They also noted that there is a 2cm solid mass inferior edge of the left lobe of the liver, most likely representative of a node, and solid vascularity material surrounding the gall bladder extending inferior to the liver.
We are scheduled for an MRI tomorrow to find more information but they have told me that she will require surgery regardless because the mass is obstructing the flow of urine into her bladder and her kidneys are moderately obstructed.
We have been told that because of Nicola's over all condition we have been told to assume cancer until they can prove otherwise, which probably won't be until we get to Brisbane and see oncologists for the surgery, and we're not sure when that will be happening, though we believe they are pushing for it to be pretty quick.
All of a sudden I don't feel confident, I don't feel unbeatable, and I certainly don't feel determined or triumphant.
I feel lost, alone and empty. I feel cold and numb.
My baby, my beautiful, sweet, innocent baby, who has already battled through so much, has a monster growing inside her, a horrible, sinister, deadly monster.
I can't fight it. I can't make it go away.
The journey ahead is so intense, and that is just finding out what we are dealing with. At the moment I can't even begin to comprehend dealing with chemo and radiation and all of that.
It all just feels so completely overwhelming, and I can't process it.
All I want is to go to bed, curl up and sleep and wake up with today having never happened.
Instead I will smile and pretend. I will pretend to be strong, I will pretend to be brave. I will pretend that everything is going to be just fine, even though deep down inside my heart is breaking.
I will hide my fears and I will not cry, I will show strength and courage even though I want to run and hide, and beyond all, I will pray, I will hope, and I will love fiercely.
Because other than pray, hope and love, I don't know what else I can do.