Thankfully the week following Eleanor’s cancelled MRI scan flew by and before we knew it, it was groundhog day and we were running through our pre general anaesthetic checklist and filling Eleanor with as much food as possible before she became nil by mouth in preparation for the rescheduled MRI.
Prior to the MRI scan we had a meeting with Eleanor’s Oncologist, we hadn’t seen him since February so it was nice to chat with him again and see how happy he is with her progress. She appears to be coping exceptionally well with the chemotherapy and is in very good health considering the toxic chemicals they are pumping into her tiny body.
I have to credit Tim here; having fought his own battle with cancer 10 years ago, he knows so much about keeping healthy when on chemotherapy. Tim is on top of everything and without him Eleanor would probably not be doing as well as she is. I am learning as fast as I can but I can honestly say that without Tim we would not be where we are now. If you are interested in reading about Tim’s experience, here is a link to the diary he wrote shortly after he was diagnosed in 2004 – timstollery.com – just make sure you have some tissues close by!
We talked about the impending MRI scan and Eleanor’s Oncologist told us that he understood how anxious a time this is for us and that he would call us the next day with the results of the scan so we didn’t have to wait too long and worry ourselves.
Tim and I had discussed how we would ideally want the results given to us. I was really against getting such important news over the phone and would have preferred to wait for another appointment with the Oncologist, than take a call which might not be good news.
Tim was happy to leave this decision solely up to me and I reluctantly agreed, providing the call would be from the Oncologist himself.
This also meant we wouldn’t have to wait too long to hear the results or wait for another appointment with the Oncologist. My reasoning behind only wanting to hear from the Oncologist himself was that if I had any immediate burning questions during the call, I would be talking to the best person to answer them.
After our meeting we headed back to the day ward. We chatted with the ward doctor, nurses and anaesthetist, signed some paperwork and spent some time racing Eleanor around the ward in a little car. Tim and I had secret eating shifts where we got to hide from Eleanor and stuff sandwiches in our mouths. We felt that it was unfair eating in front of her, despite her visual impairment her sense of smell is impeccable and especially as she kept asking how long it would be before she could eat something again!
We were just in the middle of putting her new Beads of Courage on the string when the nurse came into the room to tell us they were ready for us to take Eleanor down for her MRI. We grabbed everything we needed and carried a very frightened little girl through the hospital to another waiting room. Here we had a quick chat with the radiographer and ran through some general questions regarding Eleanor’s health and then we were ushered through to the room where she would be given the anaesthetic. By now Eleanor was very upset, she was crying and clinging to me saying she wasn’t ready yet and asking me to not let them do anything. We sat on a chair and she cuddled into me sobbing while the anaesthetist asked some more questions. Fortunately her port was already accessed so they just attached a syringe with the anaesthetic to the end of it and within 3 seconds she went limp and the doctors lifted her off me and on to a bed.
I turned one last time as we left the room and I heard those familiar words “don’t worry, we will take good care of her”. Tim and I headed back down to the day ward together holding hands with our hearts in our mouths, Tim was doing his best to hold back the tears and although we knew there would be no immediate news, there is always that tiny niggling worry somewhere inside which runs through every worst case scenario in fast forward.