Over the weekend, Dr. Greenfeld, Dr. Li and Dr. Aaron called to check on Tori. The surgeon and oncologist assured me they were confident it had been a cyst. But, they reminded me, we need to wait for the pathology report. Dr. Aaron didn't say that, he just kept reminding me that I had his personal number and to call me at any time. A friend told me that if it takes a long time to get the results it was probably negative. If the DX is bad, they call right away. I tried to forget that Victoria had spent four days in the Oncology ward at the hospital.
Chloe and I were scheduled to fly to Sacramento on Thursday morning, March 5th. By Wednesday things were good. Victoria was recovering nicely and I was ahead of schedule with my packing. Dogs were taken care of, the fridge was full, laundry was almost done, you know, those mom-packing duties that have nothing to do with putting clothes in a suitcase.
12:03pm Dr. Li called. He said the pathology report was in. Suddenly I knew I didn't want to hear him say it. Unable to hear my thoughts, he did anyway. She had a malignant tumor on her left ovary. Not O.K. He continued, her right ovary was negative for malignancy and there was no evidence of malignant cells in the fluid. That was very good, he said, since the tumor had ruptured and had been filling her abdomen and chest with fluid. He said the prognosis was very good, not to worry. Still, not O.K. He said it was a Granulosa Cell Tumor. The lab could not tell if it was Juvenile or Adult, so they had sent the samples to Johns Hopkins in Maryland. He wanted us to come in Thursday morning. Could we do that? Um, yes. I hung up and went blank. Everything was gone. I was in shock, like for real. I don't know how long I sat there with nothing going through my mind; looking at my call log, I think it was about 10 minutes. I remembered I had a husband and I needed to tell him. He couldn't be my first call though, I needed to say it out loud before trying to tell him. I knew I would fall apart if he was my first phone call. I called July and told her I wasn't going to Sacramento and gave her the information she needed since I wouldn't be there. I called Janelle and went through with her what she needed for the same reason. Dr. Greenfeld's office called and he wanted to see us the next morning also. Could we come in at 10am? I said we had an appointment with the Oncologist at 9. That's fine, she said, just come over when you're done. Then I called Randy. That was the hardest phone call of my life. I don't remember it. I do remember standing under an orange tree on the side of the house and telling him I was going to tell Victoria. That's all I remember from that phone call. She knew before I said it, of course. She fell apart and said she knew. We all knew. The oncologists, the surgeon, and especially - Dr. Aaron. Randy knew and I did too. Nothing about her ordeal the week before was normal for an ovarian cyst. The lack of pain, the extreme swelling, the scans, her lack of appetite, all indicated a malignant tumor. The only thing that threw us all off was that it didn't look malignant.
Victoria didn't want me to tell Chloe before she swam Zones. Her first Zone meet. I didn't have a choice, since I was supposed to fly out with her in the morning. I chose to send her to practice and tell her after she got back home. I don't remember taking Jaytlyn and Chloe to practice, but I remember telling her as she was finishing packing later that night. I told her that they found a tumor and she would have to have surgery. We were meeting with the oncologist the next morning to discuss chemotherapy, so I couldn't fly to Sacramento with her. O.K. she said, and continued to pack. I must have had a strange look on my face because she said, It's not like she's gonna DIE! Obviously, I was over-reacting, in her opinion. Yes, I said, she's not going to die. Ah, the ability of youth to put things in their most basic perspective.
My previous three posts I edited for the sake of time and interest. If you asked me, I could tell you more, but those details about those days just aren't important. Not this day. I don't remember anything else. Did I make dinner? Did we eat? Did I go anywhere? Did I talk to anyone else? I don't know. Most of the afternoon and evening are just gone. All I knew was that my baby had cancer, and that wasn't O.K.