At the emergency room there really wasn’t a clear sign as to what was going on with Justin. He had been having back pain for a few months off and on but we thought it was a kidney stone. His blood sugar and blood pressure was high but all other blood work was normal. By this time it was midnight and I remember it being SO dang cold in the waiting room. They had moved Justin to a triage area and I could not stay with him there. They told us he would be released soon. A few hours later Justin came to doors and motioned for me to come back. They had started an IV and was told he would not be leaving. We were so naive…I wished we still lived there. Were unbelievable things do not happen. Were it is JUST a kidney stone.
Initially they thought he might have an infection on his spine. He looked at me and said “how am I going to take care of my kids?” His children were always his first thought….always. Around 4am we were moved up to a room. Room 421 were things would start spinning.
That morning I had to call his mother to tell her he was in the hospital. Phone calls like that are just flat-out never easy to make, unfortunately there would be many more calls like that to his loved ones. He would have done the same for me.
That Saturday they sent him for a catscan….located on the 2nd floor of the hospital. While waiting outside the room he sat in a wheelchair looking so scared and tiny to me. Scared of what was going on, what could be coming? We really had to clue…naive we were. They had gotten me a chair to sit in while we waited…I felt hugely pregnant. Such an odd feeling to have your unborn son moving inside your womb and have so much unknown with the man you love so dearly. We sat there…just looking at each other. Justin asked me “how did we get here?” I don’t have the answer for that but I am so glad I was the one by his side. Catscan was over..now we wait.
Sunday comes, no results were given to us yet but they wanted to do an MRI on him Monday morning. During this time Justin was in SO much pain. He was given pain meds but he moaned so much in his sleep, he was restless. I was leaving the hospital because Liz and Garrett were coming home on Sunday evening. I checked in with the nurses to make sure they knew he was alone. I noticed on the board his doctor’s name was weird….Dr. Mahmood. I mentioned it to Justin but he wasn’t sure who he was either??? I left.
While driving home Justin called, I missed his call. He text messaged me…please come back. I called him. He told me Dr. Mahmood was an oncologist. WHAT! Why would an oncologist be seeing him? People who have cancer see him! We don’t have cancer! We did..naive we were.
I had to pull over and process…I was spinning! I drove back to the hospital, pleading for whatever this is to make it treatable. Please do not take him away! Naive.
His face when I walked back into that room…so scared. I asked him to please repeat to me what the doctor had said again, please. I sat next to him on the bed….he told me the catscan showed multiple tumors in his chest and abdomen they believed he had lymphoma. He started crying saying if he had lymphoma he was going to die, that he wouldn’t see Brock go to kindergarten. Brock was 3 months old when he died.
He had the MRI the next day and another catscan with biopsy later that week. They gave us a private room after that. It is amazing how everyone’s demeanor changed. They were nice before but after oncology took over the case we felt almost like we were a lifetime story. They brought food in for me, gave me a bed instead of the chair I had been sleeping in. It was appreciated. Justin was in and out so much that week from the pain medication they gave him. We laid in his bed together and watched TV, held each other, laughed and cried. How could this be happening to him? We had finally found what we had been looking for…each other, our souls counterpart is what we called each other.
He was released on Wednesday…we were told at the earliest he would have results on Monday the 31st Halloween.
This was October 21, 2011 the night we first went to the emergency room. Earlier that evening we were planning for a weekend away. While out shopping getting a few things for our trip Justin had said left leg felt “jiggly” as he would describe it. It was also slightly swollen and discolored. What do you do when you are walking around Walmart and you discover you have a swollen jiggly discolored jiggly leg? You google on your phone of course, right? Everything that came up was scary…we thought maybe a blood clot. He called his sister and she said to go to the emergency room, we left the store and went.
Like the blog title says…this is not the way it was planned. A plan is good! I am someone that really needs a plan. Justin and I had a plan, it was a constantly changing plan. We had to adjust it for many things and people but our goal in the end never changed…we would be together with our children. Ex spouses would make us frustrated or angry, court would be delayed and we would adjust our plan. CANCER was a definite plan changer for us…both good and unbelievably horribly bad. Cancer taught us what was important, family everything else was details. We loved each other before that day last fall when our worlds changed forever but we just did not realize how much. I remember crying begging for him not be to taken from this earth…not from his children and selfishly from me. We needed him…we still do! Walking back into that hospital room that Sunday evening after the oncologist had left and seeing his face. He was SO scared. He looked at me and said if this is lymphoma I am going to die…I was 30 weeks pregnant. I can remember what I was wearing (black dress), what room we were in 421, what he was wearing..nothing but a sheet, what he smelt like but more so what I remember is how his chest felt as he cried. It was not just a cry but a scared, gut wrenching deep from your soul wail. We laid in the hospital bed and just cried. Tears just flowed, there was no stopping them. We had no answers but plenty of questions. How could this be happening? What was the plan now?