Thank Goodness For Paranoia

Jack didn’t seem that sick. Something was off, though, of that I was sure (see last post). I tried to tell myself I was being paranoid but still…there was a tap-tap-tapping in my brain that wouldn’t go away. I thought to myself, “Maybe this is my mother’s intuition. SOMETHING has set off the alarm bells.”

Would we have caught this if Jack hadn’t hit his head while at his dad’s? I was worried he had a concussion because he was tired and complained of being dizzy. I watched him like a hawk for days…

It was weird – usually Jack woke us up in the morning right around 7:30. When that didn’t happen and I let him sleep in to see how long he’d go, he slept until 8. I went into wake him up but he was dragging. I sent him to school anyway, figuring he’d perk up when he got around the other kids. A couple hours later the school nurse called to let me know Jack felt like he was going to throw up and he looked really pale.

Home he went (with David) where he promptly ate lunch and went to work on Legos…seemed like he was fine! Until he spiked a fever.

Our batteries were dying on our temporal thermometer but Jack felt warm to me. I decided to take my own temperature to see what the difference was between his body temp and mine on the flakey thermometer – a two degree difference. He was curled on the couch with knee pain and a bad headache. I decided it was time to call the advice nurse.

The advice nurse couldn’t tell from my description over the phone whether Jack’s condition was a concern or not, but we figured it’d be best if we booked an appointment. Unfortunately, Jack’s pediatrician was out of town and there were no openings with the back up docs. I opted for a telephone appointment.

The telephone appointment with the doc went much the same as the one with the nurses. Doctor thought it could be mono or anemia. “Do you want to bring him in?” I said yes and we booked an appointment at the clinic.

Jack seemed almost back to normal that day. Except…what if the doctor hadn’t hesitated before leaving the room to glance back at Jack’s face? “He looks pale to me. Does he look pale to you?” he asked. Jack was definitely pale with circles under his eyes, even after 12 hours of sleep the previous night. The doctor gave me the option of having his blood tested; otherwise we could just get some liquid iron. For some reason, I opted for the blood test. I think I was being lazy – I didn’t want to give him vitamins if he didn’t actually need them. I thought confirmation was best.

I thought it was strange when the phlebotomist took several vials of blood. Why would they need all that blood if the doctor was just worried about anemia? Well…

Turns out Jack has cancer.


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  1. I have no words. But hugs. I have lots and lots of cyber hugs and will be keeping your family in my thoughts. xoxo

  2. I cannot even imagine what you are all going through right now. I’ll keep Jack and your family in my prayers.

  3. Our mothers intuition is rarely wrong. I wish I could tell you that this didn’t cross my mind when we were chatting about his symptoms. But it did. 🙁 I sure hoped for mono… Or something less mean. Love you and am praying constantly for y’all.

  4. I’m so glad you trusted yourself to get this looked into. I have a tendency to pretend that worst case scenarios aren’t possible, to just ignore things that I don’t want to confront, at least when it comes to health. I admire your tenacity and I’m thankful you caught it early as a result. Your family is very much in my thoughts.

    • Oh man, I wanted to ignore it. I just couldn’t. Something wasn’t right, something didn’t add up. I’m glad we found it early, but it’s so tough – I wish nothing had been found!

  5. I’m a long time lurker, but just wanted to say I am so sorry. I think that’s every parent’s nightmare. Thank goodness for mother’s intuition. I was glad to read on your Caring Bridge site that it is a highly treatable form. I just want to reach out and hug you all.

  6. Wow. I can’t believe it myself, so I can hardly even begin to imagine what you are going through. Thinking of you guys!

  7. Thinking about you today, and praying!

  8. Sending good thoughts your way. xo

  9. Sending prayers and good thoughts to Jack and all of you today and in weeks and months ahead.

  10. oh hun! i have been so MIA lately that i had no idea. sending huge ole hugs from southeast texas!! and even more love.


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