We woke up early on the 13th, left Emmaleigh with my mom and went to Providence Hospital in a Anchorage Alaska. After 5 failed attempts at an IV a flight medic got it on the sixth and final attempt before we were rescheduling this appointment. LJ went back and Joshua and I hung out in the hospital room. I remember him downloading an app to help him study for an upcoming rank test and I was texting a lot of friends and family keeping them in the loop and being encouraged because LJ’s time in the test was exceeding the one hour estimated time frame. Finally I got Joshua to ask a nurse what was taking so long and she said they had to get a few more images. I knew then, something was wrong. They found something.
They finally brought LJ into the room and my bright and beautiful baby boy was just perfect!! He took a while to wake up and we just watched him because we were still waiting on doctors. A nurse told me that the radiologist was talking with someone and they would be with us soon. I asked the nurse who radiation was talking to and I remember her asking me “are you sure you are ready to hear that?” I told her no and texted a friend that they were talking to oncology. My mama heart knew something was wrong with my baby boy. That an oncologist was looking at his scans. That they were going to come in the room and tell us that he had cancer, would have surgery, do crazy amounts of chemo, lose his hair, be sick, then be healed and fine. I thought to myself. We are so incredibly strong. We have been through so much. We can do this, it will be hard but we can do this. None of this is what I heard that day.
The oncologist and a social worker came into the room to tell us that LJ had a DIPG brain tumor, it was unable to be removed, unable to be biopsied, had a 99% fatality rate, that radiation could give a honeymoon period without symptoms, but he was expected to live for 9-12 months. She also mentioned that we were military and the Air Force would move us to wherever home was so that we could have the most support when we lost our little boy. My perfect little boy looked at me and said “mommy, why are you crying.” I couldn’t answer him and I couldn’t even make eye contact with my husband.
It was D day, the day of diagnoses, A day all cancer families know and hate. We texted friends, called family, got it together a bit and drove home. Came inside to tell my mom and Emmaleigh. We told Emmaleigh what we knew as truth about LJ’s prognosis, she was upset but understood Heaven and was okay for the moment with LJ going there sooner then we could ever imagine. That afternoon we got on our snow gear and played with our kids outside.
Your entire perspective on life changes when you look at your kid playing on a slide for what could be one of the last times in his life. I couldn’t look at him for a few days without crying. Just like that I would lose a child, the thing every mom fears, most moms have been through, and I thought I had avoided.