Well I don't usually contribute to the blog but I thought I'd give it a shot today.
I'll try to add to what Michelle has already posted regarding to Isabella's illness. I don't remember details as much as Michelle does. I do remember the way I felt though.
Before Isabella was diagnosed I remember reading a story about a parent who was dealing with a terminaly ill daughter. The parent stated that she would try to disconnect herself emotionaly from the child as a way of dealing with her eventual loss. I remember asking Michelle how someone could do such a thing. I came to the conclusion that the parent was cold hearted and didn't love the child to begin with.....Yup, you're right I was full of it. Fast forward to the week of Isabella's initial surgery. I was driving home to grab some clothes for Michelle and I. As I'm staring at the road trying to somehow figure away to solve the pickle we're in I notice myself doing the exact same thing I thought I'd never do if placed in a situation like this. I was trying to figure out a way to disconnect myself from our daughter. I caught myself but in doing so I had to ask myself which direction I wanted to head in. On one hand I could disconnect myself from Isabella and see IF that would help in the event of her premature death. On the other I could enjoy every moment I had with her and try to maker her life the best I possibly could. It wasn't a hard desision to make once I considered it. I remember talking to Michelle about it and she had told me that she had felt the same. It was nice to be able to talk to her about that. I think people tend to keep stuff like that inside fearing that they might come accross as cold hearted.
I remember Dr. Abella coming by the room and talking to us a bit about Isabella's cancer. He didn't know for sure what it was but he was pretty convinced that it was Neuroblastoma. First thing I thought was brain cancer. I asked him if that meant that she had a tumor in her brain as well and he said no, that the cancer originated in the adrenal gland which is located in her abdomen. I was like, damn then why don't you call it Adrenalblastoma or blastoma that originates in your adrenal gland which by the way is located in your abdomen cancer. Why do you have to scare like that for? False advertising at it's worst man!
So we're standing there trying to soak up all of Dr. Abella's information but he might as well be talking German cause we had no idea what he was saying. The guy sounded smart as hell though so I had to give him the old "I got you" nod. You know that fake nod you give someone when you have absolutely no idea what they're talking about.
I think we all wanted to ask him the same question but none of us had the guts to do it. Finally Bonnie my sweethearted mother in law asks, "so what are her chances?"...."BINGO" I say to myself. Finally someone has the huevos to ask! I cringed as the doctor answered the question. "50/50 worst case scenario and 75% best case". I emediately thought of Shaquille O'Neil's free throw shooting percentage when he said that. Don't ask me why I just did. Now granted I'm not a Lakers fan but I remembered all the times when he'd sink those ever so important free throws late in the game to help win games during their 3 year championship run and I remember saying to myself, "you know 50/50 isn't that bad". Now this is the type of retardedness that can only be achieved if one is placed in such a stressfull situation.
Well I believe a week went by and we got the results to all of Isabella's tests. The tumor had not spread, it wasn't in her bones, (it wasn't in her brain) the tumor would react favorably to chemo. Other than having a tumor the size of Shaq's foot in her belly things looked good. I got to say that the few times I saw her smile that week really made me want to not give up. She really helped us cope with her situation more than anything. As time went by she smiled more and more and there were times where we almost forgot that she was sick.
I got to go for now. This was fun. Maybe I'll do it again.