Early this morning I took Henry in for his ultrasound. I had the privilege to be in the room the entire time. I even got to hold Henry in place as the doctor did the test. I’ll call him Dr. Kindheart, since he was very welcoming and communicative. He explained everything as he explored Henry’s abdomen, and although I can’t recall all the formal, technical terms he used (and explained), I’ll do my best to repeat what he said in layman’s terms.
Henry’s little belly was shaved, he was given a shot to make him sleepy, then he was placed on the table, sandwiched in between two foam pillowy things. I held him still at the shoulders and hips as Dr. Kindheart squirted some alcohol, then some clear jelly stuff on Henry’s belly, and manipulated his handheld doohickey to get images of his insides. The black and white squiggly lines appeared on the little screen in front of Dr. K. He started with the stomach area. The first thing he saw was a growth in(on?) the spleen. First big surprise. I thought we were going to look at the intestines, but I didn’t want to interrupt him so I stayed quiet. Next, he showed me a growth in Henry’s stomach. Second big surprise. The x-rays from two days ago didn’t show these! I thought the problem was in his intestines.
Dr. K then moved his wand down to Henry’s intestines, which, he was happy to say, showed no abnormalities. What? Third big surprise. I wanted to burst out crying, but I couldn’t lose it yet. I was responsible for holding Henry in position.
Dr. K explained that the growths in the stomach and spleen may or may not be related to each other, and they may or may not be CANCER. I could tell he wanted to make sure I understood the grim possibilities, but his tone sounded hopeful. He thinks the odds of the growths being benign are 50%. The glass is half FULL, right?
Since Henry was still sedated, Dr. K took some needle biopsies from one of the lymph nodes and one other place I didn’t understand. He said these would tell us if there were cancer cells in there. He also said that they could come back as nothing, but that didn’t mean there was no cancer. Got that?
When the doctor was done he gave Henry another shot, which reversed the effect of the sedative, and within 60 seconds he was perky again. All I could think about was getting Henry home so I could cry my eyes out.
The next step is to meet with the surgeon at the specialty hospital to figure out when and how they can remove the evil masses from Henry’s belly. Things have gone from horrible to really horrible, but we’re going to do what we can to help Henry feel better. Today Henry seems like himself again, which gives me hope.
From now on I will be Henry’s Service Person.