November 19, 2014
The day after Theo’s diagnosis he went into surgery to have a port inserted into his chest. It is like a pin cushion under his skin. When I leave the house, I put a numbing cream over the area. Once we get to the hospital, he shouldn’t feel anything (or so they say). They insert a butterfly needle that can draw blood and give medicines, and Theo’s little veins are never bothered. Once treatment is over, they remove the butterfly and he looks normal. It allows him to bathe and swim without risk of infection. It’s pretty cool.
Theo and I have already driven to CHOP three times this week. Today is Friday and our last appointment for the week. I assure my faithful babysitting friends that this should be a quick and easy visit, as if I’m now some sort of cancer expert.
The nurse inserts the butterfly needle but the port doesn’t work. She tries again. Theo is whimpering but hanging in there. It still won’t work. Something is blocking it. I almost faint. The nurse brings me OJ and a cold rag. I feel so embarrassed in front of Theo, this moment is not supposed to be about me. They treat him with a medicine and we wait.
After an hour the nurse tries again. Nothing. She leaves the room to discuss with the doctor what to do next. She warns me that surgery might be a solution.
Here’s the thing. It turns out my nurse is a Christian. She tells me that she wants to pray real quick before she tries the port again. She then tells me she’s in the process of adopting. Did I mention my husband Scott and our son Tai are both adopted? Even in the midst of this trouble, God is with me. He brings me a friend, a friend who prays, a friend who likes to talk about adoption, just like me.
While the nurse is out of the room the port begins to work, as evidenced by the blood running through the line. I jump up and run to get her. We are both genuinely relieved.
Theo and I spent a total of six hours in that room today. Not as quick and easy as I thought, but totally worth the experience.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”