After my 2nd night shift in a row, I had trouble sleeping and decided to watch my DVR of the latest Grey’s Anatomy episode entitled One Step Too Far. It began as every episode does with a monologue, fading into and out of each characters lives. After about 5 minutes I was gripping my bed sheets as the medical drama this week was an arachnoid cyst, the very same diagnosis that M has. I was literally flabbergasted that this was their choice of medical portrayal of all things, paralleling my life. There’s nothing I hate more than when a television show mirrors that of real life because it really messes with you. Granted this case was an adult, but she had an incredibly promising future ahead of her as M does. The episode plays out with the bold removal of the tumor by Lexie Grey which results in the patient having dysphasia – difficulty speaking. The actress who portrayed the patient deserves an Emmy or something because the reaction and horror she was portraying was very real for me. Just like her, I was screaming inside my head but it wasn’t coming out right. I almost threw up right then and there. And of course, sleep was even harder to come by then.
My mind was once again fixed on my little man. My heart was breaking and my mind completely spacy. You see I’m kind of at a stand still. I don’t know what to do. The neurosurgeon who we were seeing, wants to have MRI’s every 6 months to monitor the growth of the tumor and in between I am simply to doing nothing. NOTHING! For a person who is so completely task oriented, this defies every bone in my body to play this waiting game. This game of will we operate or will we wait. I am definitely not a gambler. Ask my husband. Every time he hits the tables, I have to go for a walk. I can’t handle the unpredictability. I’m not a risk taker. I like to know my cards and play them accordingly. This time I feel like a gun is being held to my head and I’m being force to play this game. Is surgery inevitable? I don’t know. Will he be operated in 6 months, 1 year? 5 years? 15 years? I don’t know.
Every time I am asked how M is doing, I say he’s doing good, but really… I just don’t know. It may sound stupid but I feel this immense pressure to find a solution for everyone who asks as if he just had a cold and can get over it. Sometimes I want to say, to be honest, I don’t know how he’s doing. He’s happy, he’s M. As for his tumor which you’re referring to, it won’t get solved overnight. I may be his mom, but I don’t have all the answers. Don’t expect me to answer like I got it taken care of yesterday after I went grocery shopping. All I know is that I love him more than life itself and he brings me so much joy it hurts to imagine a day without him. He lights up the world and is such a happy happy baby. He always has a Hi! and a Bye Bye! for everyone he crosses paths with and when he says Thank you without being prompted everyone smiles and I am brimming with pride because he wasn’t taught this, it simply is M.
As for my husband, I can’t even have this conversation with him at all. Although he is M’s father, I can’t share the burden of this with him, because I know it’s too much for any parent to handle. I mentioned the Grey’s Anatomy episode and he said he was “completely freaking out now.” I’m not just M’s mom, but I’m a medical professional who bears the responsibility of knowing what the right thing to do is and yet I just don’t. It’s so much easier to answer the question, How are you doing? Not so good.
Here’s your dose of M, playing at the park yesterday on the most gorgeous of spring NYC days, happy as can be.