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Afraid

Half an hour after we left UPMC this morning, just as we were approaching the entrance ramp for I-76 West, Rebecca threw up with no warning.  She threw up a lot.  We pulled over and scrambled to get her out of the car so we could clean her off and check for any other symptoms.  She stood with her arms held away from her body in the classic “ick” pose, until I peeled her shirt off to get most of the vomit away from her.  “It’s all over my arms and legs!  Why do I have to be like this?” she wailed miserably.

I pulled her to me, wrapped her in my arms, and said over and over, “I know, honey.  I know.”  Keeping my voice as level and calm as I could.  I don’t think I did a very good job of it.

By the time we’d gotten her and her car seat mostly clean, she felt fine, except for the taste in her mouth, which she pronounced “disgusting”.  We found the nearest drug store, bought some wipes and paper towels, completed the cleanup, and got back on the road, a newly fresh set of fears riding with us.

It could be the experimental treatment she’s taking, which is known to induce nausea in some kids, though she’s never been sick from it before.  It could be an aftershock from the GI ailment that went through the house the past few days, which had every single one of us dealing with unpleasant symptoms at one point or another.  It could be that she choked on her juice and triggered the gag reflex.  Or it could be the tumor, finally grown large enough to kill her.

I don’t know.  But the last time Kat and I were cleaning her off by the side of a Pennsylvania highway, she had four days to live.

11 Responses»

    • #1
    • Comment
    • Wed 14 May 2014
    • 1207
    Doug Pascover wrote in to say...

    It’s all terrifying, isn’t it? I’m pretty sure this is the first time I hoped a child had a GI bug. I’m sure we are still thinking of you and wishing the best for Rebecca.

    • #2
    • Comment
    • Wed 14 May 2014
    • 1222
    Stephanie wrote in to say...

    Holding you all close in my thoughts.

    • #3
    • Comment
    • Wed 14 May 2014
    • 1336
    Carolyn wrote in to say...

    Just read this to my husband. We’re hoping with all our hearts that it’s one of the other possibilities, perhaps the GI bug, as Doug says above. For Rebecca’s sake, I’m so glad that she has the parents that she does.

    • #4
    • Comment
    • Wed 14 May 2014
    • 1349
    Caleb Jenkins wrote in to say...

    There are no words that can comforts in these times, even the most heartfelt prayers feel empty and shallow.. But I have to say how much I admire your and your family’s courage Eric. Continuing to face the unknowns, pushing through the fears and walking out the hard (and unfair) stuff in life with honesty and transparency.

    You have my prayers and thoughts – Courage Eric, for you, your family and especially for Rebecca. Courage and Hope.

    • #5
    • Comment
    • Wed 14 May 2014
    • 1509
    Tracey wrote in to say...

    Thank you for sharing your experiences, thoughts, joys, and fears. Your strength is a source of hope, though the difficulties I face in my life are nowhere near what you are going thorugh.

    You remain in our prayers, whatever tomorrow brings. May you find some comfort and peace as you face each new step along this heartbreaking path.

    • #6
    • Comment
    • Wed 14 May 2014
    • 1542
    Harald wrote in to say...

    Afraid I am, although Rebecca is not my daughter but I am a father of a daughter. Thank you for your honesty. I pray that it is not the tumor.

    You are in my thoughts and prayers. God bless you.

    • #7
    • Comment
    • Wed 14 May 2014
    • 1716
    hawkse wrote in to say...

    It has to be the treatment. I just *has* to be.

    • #8
    • Comment
    • Wed 14 May 2014
    • 1823
    Jonathan wrote in to say...

    Keeping Rebecca and your whole family in my thoughts, and hoping.

    • #9
    • Comment
    • Wed 14 May 2014
    • 1859
    Roberta wrote in to say...

    The thing about almost any cancer treatment/chemotherapy, is that it kills the immune system along with the cancer cells. So any bug a cancer patient is exposed to is likely to have worse symptoms and be harder to fight off. Weird as it sounds, this could be a cause for hope that Rebecca “simply” caught whatever GI bug was going around with the rest of you. It’s a strange thing to hope for, but.. everything’s relative isn’t it. I’m also still fervently hoping that her treatments are successful in at least preventing the tumors from getting any bigger. I pray for her and all of you every day. Please try not to panic and know that there are so many of us out here who are always reading and sending good thoughts your way.

    • #10
    • Comment
    • Thu 15 May 2014
    • 0624
    Anna wrote in to say...

    Hoping that Rebbecca’s body is just purging toxins….

    • #11
    • Comment
    • Fri 16 May 2014
    • 1058
    cheryl springfels wrote in to say...

    Your compassion is a great gift to your daughter. Your beautiful honest writing is a great gift to the world.

    Thank you.

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