This post is part three in an ongoing series of posts about my son Jude and his fight with cancer.
Part 1 – The Day You Find Out Your Child Has Cancer
Part 2 – A Goliath Named Neuroblastoma
Part 3 – “The Tumor Was Not Resectable.”
It was a moment nightmares are made of to find myself standing with my 8½ months pregnant wife alone outside the surgical unit of the hospital. A nurse had just come and taken our whimpering 2-year-old son away from us and disappeared behind a large heavy door into a brightly lit, sterile room. Less than a week earlier, we had been delivered the devastating news that our firstborn child had stage 3-4 cancer, a neuroblastoma tumor that had gone undetected in his abdomen for the last year. In a whirlwind of events, our son Jude was admitted into the hospital, placed in a room on the cancer floor, had huge amounts of fluids pumped into his arms and legs through an IV machine, and subjected to frightening blood draws every four hours. My wife and I had been by his side every second of the day since his diagnosis. And now, we had just handed our sick little boy off to a complete stranger, who was going to wheel him into a room where we were not allowed to follow, inject him with a cocktail of pharmaceuticals until his body was limp, and then take a blade and cut his stomach wide open. Had I known how close my son would come to death in the next few hours, I don’t think I could have ever allowed the surgery to take place. You never get to plan for events like this, but it’s not as if a little advance notice will make it any easier.