Edna episode 15
I have two news- one good news and one bad news. Which one would you love to listen to first?
That was the first question Dr. James from South Africa Specialist Hospital asked after conducting series of tests on our boy.
My husband pulled at my skirt as we watched on.
I was unexpectedly composed although all the bolts holding my jaws had been loose as I could only look on with a façade smile
My husband was really shaken by the incidence even more than I
Whoever says medical doctors have had their feelings and emotions mauled by their years of experience should come and see my husband and be convinced that they are also human beings having blood flowing through their veins.
He was really hit!
Well, Jean was the only child we had!
It was quite understandable then that we had to send for a specialist so that there wouldn’t be any interference of any kind
Good news and bad news?
“Erm…the good news first” I said and my husband, who was shaking seriously, placed his head on my shoulder.
Dr. James was not smiling though
“The good news is that the spinal cord of our child is still very intact. There is no injury of any kind” he said and my eyes shone
My husband almost jumped up
“For real?” he exclaimed
My eyes didn’t leave Dr. James for a moment.
The expression was not consoling!
“Dr. James, what’s the bad news?” I asked and he looked into my face penetratingly.
“Mrs. Douglas” he called out and I held my breath, praying as I did
“Dr. James” I replied as my husband reversed back to the seat beside me, his hands on my laps, tugging at my flesh as if it was a dough.
I looked into his face and though he gave me a smile, I knew he was very anxious- his lower lip was pursed
“Does any of you have a history of cancer or any kind of tumor?” he asked and I had a sudden migraine
“Cancer?” I asked in a shaky voice, jumping as though I had learnt that a bomb was planted on the bench on which I was seated
“You can’t be serious my doc” my husband said as he laughed in a way that made me very scared.
I went close to him and held him to myself as I looked into Dr. James’ eyes
“Check again my Doctor James. There could be a mistake somewhere please. Never has anyone in my family or his been diagnosed of cancer or lumps or tumor” I explained
“Never!” my husband exclaimed too, vibrating against my chest
“Well, I am so sorry but some cancerous cells were found in his bone marrow. I am afraid he is in the early stage of Leukemia” he said and my head jumped off from body.
My husband disengaged from me as he heard and staggered to the window panes.
I could see it on his face- mist
Were those sweat or tears?
I had only been hearing of it but never had I imagined that I could have a close relative who would have it
I didn’t even know what it meant.
Dr. James came close to me, sensing my confusion.
He placed his hand on my shoulders and smiled
“Mrs. Douglas. Please you have to be strong. It’s not so serious. It’s been detected early so we can fight it successfully” he said and I sat down on the bench and stared into space.
I was emotionless.
Even I didn’t know what to think about at that point.
My husband was beside the window panes, shaking his head in a regrettable way.
Though I didn’t know what it meant, whatever leukemia meant must be serious then.
Dr. James held my hand
“Leukemias are cancers that affect bone marrow.” He said and I just looked into his face, still confused
Couldn’t he realize that I was just a layman?
“Let me make it simpler for you..” he said. He must have seen that I remained confused
“As cells divide into different divisions to produce red and white blood cells, they could become cancerous. Do you get me?” he asked and I just looked on, tears already calling themselves together to form in my eyes
“If a progenitor cell becomes cancerous at the beginning of a series of cell divisions, the leukemia is termed acute. But if it is in the later stages of division, we have chronic leukemia” he explained further, patting my shoulders
“Hmmmm” I said eventually as the tears ran down my face- very hot against my skin
“We thank God that Jeans’ case is still acute. Though it is serious as well, we can still have 60% success” he said and I shook my head as I beat my laps in repeated successions
“Ah! Jesu oooo” I screamed aloud
I had never even imagined that such a bad thing like that existed in my handsome looking boy
“Oh my God! Why? Why?” my husband screamed aloud and I looked towards him
He looked totally shaken
He dug his fingers into his hair, crying like a baby
“I hate chemo, I hate radiotherapy. I hate them with passion!” he cried with such passion that I knew the extent to which the problem was
I looked in Dr. James’ face and he was quite disappointed in his friend
“Dr. Douglas, please pull yourself together. This is not a hopeless situation as you are posing it to be. It will be well.” He said and my husband nodded as tears ran down his face the more
“Mrs. Douglas. The only thing now is to get a matching bone marrow donor. I have sent his blood sample to the lab. The result should be out anytime soon so that we would know his blood type in order to determine if it is you or his dad that would donate” he said and my face shone
“We can donate? Isn’t one bone marrow everyone has?” I asked,
He smiled, relieved at seeing my shining face
“No dear sister. Bone Marrow is that soft, pulpy tissue that fills the cavities of bones” he said and I became hopeful again
I had thought that it was a bone or something
“We will suction the red bone marrow from the pelvic bone of the donor with a long needle attached to a syringe. That’s all we need. It would be treated so that the white blood cell in it would be removed”
“The white blood cells are removed so that they wouldn’t attack the recipient” he explained on, making the subject more interesting to me
“It would be done through an intravenous infusion and immature, but healthy cells would be introduced into the bloodstream. That would be all” He explained, little by little
As he explained, I felt a whole new ray of hope for our son
“You forgot to mention that it’s not as easy as you have said it Dr. James. You didn’t mention that yes, bone marrow transplants are helpful but they cannot always cure a blood or bone marrow disease because the match between donor and recipient is seldom perfect. Where do we get a perfect match? Have you found any before? Since you started practicing this…” My husband started talking and I found such unbelief irritating to me
“Dear, could you be positive for once? Are you still a Christian at all? Let’s hope in God please” I spoke so loudly that our boy stirred.
Dr. James ran to his bed. He was there on the bed with a lot of tubes inserted into his body intravenously and with bandages holding his lower limbs and neck
“He is coming back to consciousness soon. We would have to find a donor soon so that we can start chemo in other to get rid of those cancerous cells” Dr. James looked into my face hopefully
I smiled as I wiped my tears from my face
I refused to be daunted by the expression on my husband’s face and his words
Where is Doctor Jesus?
He can heal everything
He did not tell me that such a thing would happen
He didn’t tell me that I would suffer the loss of my child- my only child for that matter.
I relaxed at that point.
We shall await the result and my boy would be well again- very soon
“That is impossible!” My husband exclaimed loudly and I moved close to both doctors
“What is the matter again?” I asked
Immediately Jean’s blood type result was brought, his dad and I were asked to have our blood type checked too.
The result have been brought now and I wondered what the problem was again
“How can his mum and I be A and then he is O? How? How is that possible?” my husband asked on and I was confused as well
“You are sure he is your son?” Dr. James asked and I shot him a very serious look
Seyi shook his head
“What does that mean Dr. James? Does that mean you can’t recognize Jean again? You knew when we gave birth to Jean and before you travelled to South Africa, he had always been in and out of your house. What are you saying?” My husband said, almost screaming
“I am sorry. I am just so confused. Probably we should re-run the tests then or what could the problem be?” he said
And we did!
The results were still the same!
The silence in our house that night could be touched!
My husband had been extra-ordinarily quiet as our driver drove us back home and I had just a lot to ruminate over too
How could our blood type be different?
What could have happened?
I stood up to go to the kitchen.
I was extremely tired and famished.
As I opened the fridge to pick some apples, I heard my phone ringing.
When I expected my husband to call me so I come and pick the phone up or bring it to me and none was forthcoming, I went into the room and saw him, his back against the pillow, looking at the phone as it rang
Edna episode 15