I hadn’t been feeling like myself since Thanksgiving and I thought I was just rundown from the baby as he is getting to be extremely energetic. However, on December 21st at 11 pm I knew something was wrong with my body. David was trying to put the baby down as I began screaming due to a horrible pain in my right chest and back. He immediately called an ambulance and his Mom came to watch the baby as we waited help to arrive. They responded pretty fast and before I knew it I was on my way to North Florida Regional Medical Center. Upon arriving the paramedics informed me that there were no beds. In all of my life I had never experienced this kind of pain before, it was excruciating. It was like a knife being jabbed and twisted in my chest and back. Regardless, what that meant for me was that I had to get out of the stretcher they brought me in with and into the waiting room chair with everyone else!!! We waited a good 30 minutes before seeing someone for vitals and then they led me back to my chair to wait some more.
Finally, after about 45 minutes they got me a bed! Although they were still slow about starting my IV. Drawing my blood was another whole ordeal due to the fact that I have the worst veins ever. It took two nurses and 10 needle sticks to get a vein that would draw blood. Luckily the nurse got lucky and started my IV with no problems. After that fiasco they took me to get a CT scan, chest x-ray, and an ultrasound which showed nothing but maybe a little pneumonia. When I got back the nurse informed me they needed to draw more blood ughhhhhhhhh! They said they had a lab error, which I think was just to double-check my really low blood counts, platelets, red blood cells, and white blood cells, and more blood would need to be drawn. Several sticks later that was finally over.
The results came back and the doctor came to speak to me regarding the low counts, which I immediately questioned as being a sign of cancer. He confirmed it could be Leukemia which David and I could hardly believe. David immediately began calling his dad who is a pediatric doctor at Shands, another hospital in town, and he began to contact everyone he knew in the Oncology field. We began the process of transferring hospitals due to the fact that Shands has a ton of specialists and is well known for its cancer center. After 12 hours in the ER I was transferred.
I spent a brief period of time in the Shands’ ER as a room was prepared at which point I was moved to the hematology and cancer wing. I began a three day process of blood tests and pain medication which culminated with a bone marrow biopsy on Christmas Eve. My true journey began Christmas morning when Dr. Brown came into my room and informed me that I had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia type B.
This blog is a day by day account of my journey to overcome this disease and to help remind me of all the people for which I am fighting. Especially my beautiful baby boy Bryce who needs his mother and a husband with whom I will grow old and grey.