It is close to midnight as I sit in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at the Hope Children’s Center Hospital next to my two and half year old daughter who has just come out of surgery to remove a what looks like at this point a Wilm’s tumor growing from her right kidney.
It was a little over 48 hours ago that my wife and three kids were at home finishing packing for our winter family trip to Florida. I was coaching the championship game of my 8 year old daughter’s park district basketball league. As one would imagine, the stands were filled with the parents and families of all the kids, including my own.
During the course of the game, my wife’s cousin whose daughter is on our team held my 2 year old daughter. As she carried her, she noticed a hardness to the right side of her stomach. Concerned, she turned to another family friend who happens to also be a pediatrician and asks him to feel the stomach.
Thirty minutes after the game I found myself at my in-law’s house observing a council of doctor’s (my father in law is a pediatrician) that included a family friend, one of the premier pediatric oncologists in the Chicago area. After doing a quick exam of my daughter, he turns to my wife and I and tells us there is a large growth in the right abdominal area and that we needed to immediately check in to the cancer floor of the Hope Center to begin a battery of CT and ultrasound tests to determine what was going on.
The next day the tests were clear. A large tumor, growing off her right kidney, with all the telltale signs of what is known as a Wilm’s tumor. Surgery had to be scheduled immediately to remove the tumor and biopsy the surrounding organs.
24 hours later and I sit in the ICU next to my sleeping daughter. The surgery has been deemed a success thus far and early indications are positive.
You always hear that your life can change in a heartbeat. I woke up on Wednesday thinking tomorrow starts our vacation, having no idea of what was in store.
I would be amiss to not end this post with thanking all who have stood by my family in support and prayer these past couple of days. Amazing to know that so many care.
Today we only completed the first step of a long journey to what we pray will be 100% recovery for our dear Sereen. May God bring her a healthy recovery and give us patience and strength to be there throughout.