A letter to my daughter, the night before her brain MRI

To my beautiful, precious, innocent daughter:

I love you. In your four short years of life, you have had quite the adventure! You started life interesting, seeking medical help to assist mommy & daddy in having you. Weekly shots kept you tucked in safe and warm when preterm labor threatened to give you an eviction notice way too early. You were in the clear. You made it.

Still in utero, you tried stealing the spotlight once again, requiring an echocardiogram while in the womb following some abnormality in your heart beats. We were relieved to be cleared of congenital heart conditions before you came into the world, and we welcomed you on your day of birth with a perfect 10 on the APGAR test. I knew you were perfect, and your first doctor confirmed it. You were in the clear. You made it.

Over the years, you’ve been burdened with odd medical hardships. Catching RSV at just three weeks old, I watched in horror as doctors poked and tested you to find a diagnosis. From blood work to spinal taps, I felt helpless yet full of hope. You were admitted and would spend time at a Children’s hospital close to our house. While I knew you were struggling, my heart could never go to a place where you were “that bad.” Imagine my surprise when a back-on-shift nurse ran to me with a hug, quietly acknowledging through tears that she didn’t think she would return to her morning shift to find you still with us. You were in the clear. You made it.

Following RSV as a teeny tiny baby, you had your shares of respiratory infections. Par for the course, given your start, they told us. In your 4 years of life, you’ve had more cases of pneumonia than most have in a lifetime. You got familiar with nebulizer treatments, got comfortable with oral steroids, and got used to worrying your parents with fevers of 104 and higher. But each time, you were in the clear. You made it. 

Despite all of this, I’ve never considered you a sickly child. Yes, you are sick often, but it is hard to think of you as sickly when your rambunctious, smiley self is always at a 10+ on the energizer Richter scale. You have a heart of gold, a soul of sweet simplicity, and a mind of fresh innocence and wild curiosity.

This brings us to today. Today is the day before the day I’m scared of. In the past week, you have cried through blood tests and urine samples. You have stumped doctors with developmental regression, been given neurological exams, and worried your mama. All of this lead to a doctor looking me in the eye and suggesting we do a brain MRI, to “look for pressure on the brain and/or a brain tumor.” I think back to all of the symptoms that got you here. I think back to the questions and the uncertainty, the whats and the whys, and the hows? I think back to the unanswered “viral infections” and wonder if they were more. I think of the milestone regressions and wonder if it is a phase or something more. Just when my fears become a full blown panic attack, I force myself to pull back. I pull back not out of positivity, but out of necessity. I can’t go there. I can’t digest the words that the pediatrician said along with my daughter’s name and absorb them into my reality. I can’t.

Brain Tumor.

Tumor.

I shudder.

I look into your big, beautiful, brown eyes as you sleep.

Thinking of something as gorgeous and perfect and as sweet as you in the same sentence as those ugly words makes my stomach turn.

As I close my eyes tonight and start the inevitable tossing and turning that will take place, I am comforted knowing that you have loved, been loved, and will continue to love. I am reflecting on all that we have shared in the 4 years and 354 days of your life. And can’t wait to see what else we share in the  In my heart of hearts, I have full faith and confidence that your scan will be fine. I am hopeful that it will reflect the same level of perfection that you were born into with your perfect APGAR baby test. I am hopeful that throughout the procedure itself, you will meet it head on with the strength and curious reserve that you have always tackled life.  I am hopeful that it will be quick and painless for you, and you will emerge complication-free and snuggly. More than any of those things, I am hopeful {and prayerful} that the radiologist reading the report will be calling with the news that you are in the clear. You made it. 

I love you baby girl. Daddy loves you. You are the sparkle of our day, the energy of our night, and the sweet spot in our lives.

Hugs & Snuggles,

xoxo – Mommy

A quick note to my readers on the night AFTER my daughter’s brain MRI:

While I needed to write this in the raw of real feelings, I couldn’t post until I had results. I’m SO happy to say that the waiting is over and we DO have results. Even better, we have GREAT NEWS: Her MRI was CLEAR! We don’t have all of the answers, but we have ruled out the big and scary.
HER MRI WAS CLEAR!!! I could not post this as a cliff hanger. Many of my personal friends and family don’t know that our big girl has had some question marks over the past few months. To each of those people reading this, know that she is FINE. She has some questions marks, but I am confident they will be filled with fillable solutions. In the mean time, she attends preschool happily, she embraces life with a zest and vibrance reserved only for her. She keeps us on our toes, knocks her siblings to their knees, and will continue to thrive and be successful in her everyday life while we figure out the next step. She’s in the clear. She made it.

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5 Responses

  1. Momma To Go says:

    Wow that’s an amazing story what a fighter!

  2. Emily says:

    I’m so glad that her MRI is clear! Wow for someone so little she’s been through so much. It sounds like she’s a strong little girl with a lot is spirit. You are also such a strong mother. It must be so hard to see your child go through all of that. I wish her continued health and happiness.

  3. this is so beautifufl and so sad! I can’t imagine what you’re going through. i hope that things get much better quickly! She’s prescious!

  4. maria criselda maquiling says:

    this made me cry. warm hugs to your family for having the love and courage to go through all the struggles in her 4 4 years of life. I’m so glad that the MRI is clear and I hope the doctors find out soon her proper diagnosis

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