Despite the bad news we received on Monday, today I can't find it in myself to be anything but grateful.
I belong to a Facebook group for Utah parents of children with cancer, and while it is extremely therapeutic for me, it is also a bit scary. Reading what others are going through, and the problems they are facing--some very similar to either mine or Mason's--is both good and bad; I either feel better that I'm not the only parent out there feeling those things, or my heart breaks to hear what things their little children are dealing with. Nothing makes me want to find a way to fight against cancer, more. You may or may not have noticed the increase in cancer-related status updates on my page.
But back to the grateful part (before I get carried away): I was reading posts from the parents and some of the problems they have had with the doctors who treat their children. Some of their experiences are terrible, and though most of them were one-time occurrences, just the thought of ever having such confrontations makes me shudder. We've had our share of big problems with a few nurses, an anesthesiologist, and one ENT doctor. But after voicing our concerns (sometimes through those higher up in the chain of command), the problems were solved on all accounts, and we were able to move forward.
And yet, reading those stories has made me feel intensely grateful for the doctors Mason has had. Dr. Riva-Cambrin, Dr. Thompson, Dr. Bruggers, and Dr. Sato, have all been pivotal to the good experiences we have been blessed to have had so far. These are doctors who have listened to our concerns, explained (multiple times, if needed) everything we were unsure about, double-checked anything we were uncertain about, took extra care with Mason, and have shown us time and again, that they truly care about him and his well-being.
Now, please believe me that I don't say this to brag. It's just what I am feeling at the moment, and I need to put it in writing before I forget the intensity.
Because I would not choose different doctors, even if I could.
I have literally put my son's life in each of their hands, and I know they have recognized the importance of that. My decision to allow Mason to have a second surgery only a week after the first, rested solely on this exact feeling, when I heard Dr. Riva-Cambrin say, "I've been up all night thinking about Mason...." My appreciation for Dr. Thompson came the first time I spoke to him, as I waited for Mason to finish simulation, when he actually listened to me, without any rushing. My adoration of Dr. Sato began with our first visit, when she played with Mason, and stayed a little longer to talk to us after the others had left. And my trust in Dr. Bruggers had been there to begin with, but was solidified at the last chemo appointment in Jan. where she told him--with a shaky voice, from what I assume may have been near-tears--what a character he is, and how strong of a boy he is. There are many other points in our treatment where his doctors have shined, but these points stand out in my mind.
I am so, SO grateful he was (and is) able to have such wonderful doctors. They have made all the difference.