Proceeds to benefit accelerate brain cancer cure


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

MRI day is certainly one of the most stressful days for us and any family dealing with a child having a brain tumor. The MRI lets us know if we get another pass on treatment of the tumor or go into battle mode and treat the tumor. We left at 3:30am Thursday morning to make the 4 1/2 hour trip upto Sloan Kettering. Justin as always, for all his MRI's is very nervous, anxious and scared. Wednesday night like always before a big test, he asks if he can sleep in our bed and of course we say yes. He feel asleep in between Audrey and I. We woke Justin up at 3:15am and he did not want to go, but we put him in the car and thankfully he fell asleep for most of the car ride. We arrived in New York 8am and parked the car in the hospital garage. Justin was very hungry so we had breakfast at a diner near Sloan. One of the benefits of going to Sloan for Justin is he loves the New York hot dogs on the street corner and sure enough after he ate french toast he said " I need a hot dog" and of course we obliged. This was Justin's first MRI that was not sedated so he did not have to fast. We did not have to be at our appointment until 10am so we tried to walk around to keep Justin's mind off his test. Justin got anxious and wanted to go in to the pediatric day hospital early at Sloan. Unfortunately, the scene in the waiting room is one of the saddest experiences any parent will see. There are little children with cancer who have no hair because of chemo, children walking with IV pools and generally a very somber atmosphere. As a parent it is very hard to witness this as you feel so bad for these undeserving children with cancer, but when you are here getting testing for your own child it is incredibly surreal. Justin went into the play area to play Xbox. Justin is such a champ he does not even flinch when he gets his IV put in by the nurse. Our MRI was scheduled for 11:30am but they took us early. Since Justin did this MRI without sedation I was able go back and be with him to comfort him. He was incredibly nervous about the exam and pending results. Fortunately, he received some medicine before the MRI to try and relax him. As he was going into the machine he asked me to rub his legs and feet and talk to him about LeBron James. I talked to him to try and comfort him while rubbing his legs and feet the whole time. He could barley hear me as the MRI machine was so loud. Fortunately, he fell asleep about half way through the MRI. Finally, we finished 1 hour later and I carried him over my shoulders to the waiting room as he was still sleeping. We waited nervously for another hour to see the doctor for an exam and for the results and thank GOD we got a pass as Justin's brain tumor remained stable. We were getting ready to leave and get our car from the garage attendants at Sloan when Justin met a 5 year old boy named Jimmy who left a lasting impression on all of us but especially Justin. Jimmy has cancerous tumors in his eyes where he unfortunately lost one eye and is almost blind in the other eye. This boy was so cute and him and Justin interacted for about 5 minutes with Jimmy's favorite parking attendant named Randolph. You could see the sadness and concern in Justin's eyes for Jimmy's situation. Justin wanted to stay in touch with Jimmy so we gave them a Justin's Quest card with our information to send us an email with their contact information. We got into the car and Justin said he wants to work harder at Justin's Quest to help Jimmy and others. We got pizza for the car ride home. It is days like this as a parent with a child with a very serious medical condition, that you reflect and try and appreciate every moment you have with that child and your family. Lastly, Justin had a hard time sleeping that night because he was so concerned for Jimmy and he wanted to help find a cure so Jimmy could see again. We are so proud of Justin and his resolve to fight for the brain tumor community.


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