diagnosis

‘She’s going to have emergency brain surgery.’ I screamed. What the hell would I do without a mom?’: 19-year-old daughter suddenly loses mother to stage 4 cancer, finds healing through ‘roller coaster’ of grief

“My parents frantically came down the stairs. The entire left side of my mom’s body was numb. My dad was taking her to the hospital. Contrary to my wishful thinking, my mom was not going to be the ‘miracle.’ There I was. 19 years old, trying to figure out how I would go on in a world without my mom in it.”

‘I don’t see arms.’ The sonographer takes too long rubbing the wand over my belly. Everything goes silent.’: After ‘repeat miscarriages,’ mom births ‘miracle, rainbow baby’ with TAR Syndrome

“We told our family about Nicholas’ lack of arms. ‘Do you think you should keep him?’ That question BROKE my heart. Having to confront the fact others disagreed with me was as painful as my miscarriages. Was I sentencing him to a painful life? People who didn’t know would talk of all the things he’d accomplish. It all felt like lies.”

‘My hands were shaking as I gripped my son’s tiny hand in the backseat. ‘Just hurry up and get to the hospital.’: Mom’s confusion after ‘idyllic’ newborn’s rare Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia diagnosis

“Talk about nerves. ‘He’s a calm little guy!,’ my OBGYN assured us as they whisked him away to be washed and weighed. It was love at first sight. Then, just a few days before celebrating one month on this earth with our son, we underwent an intense baptism into a new, unimagined kind of parenthood. Our son was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder.”

‘The first time I fainted, I was 13. This time, I remember too clearly. My heartbeat felt like it was skipping. I started to sweat. My eyes went black.’: Woman finally diagnosed after fainting ‘hundreds of times’ with POTS

“The next thing I knew, I was laying on the floor with my mom and dad both overtop of me, staring at me with concerned expressions. When I faint, I lose consciousness, but the aftermath is always the worst part. I go into ‘autopilot mode’. I’ve ‘woken up,’ but I remember none of it. Everyone else would, though. They were always quick to tell their version of the story.”

‘She laid there. I stroked her head, closed her eyes, kissed her. I removed her collar, and told her one last time, ‘I love you so much.’ I filled my pockets with tissues, and walked out.’

“A lady behind me in line was excited to see her. After a few head pets, the lady told her to ‘have a good day.’ I almost lost it. I almost fell to the floor. The cashier went to hand me my receipt and I missed. The tears filled my eyes. I couldn’t grab a receipt. I couldn’t speak.”

‘Come feel this,’ the doctor said. I put my hand on her belly. My heart sank.’ Mom recalls daughter’s rare cancer diagnosis after thinking it was just an ‘umbilical cord hernia’

“I snapped the traditional well-check picture of my daughter sitting on the exam table, bragging about our healthy girl. We were about to walk out with a good bill of health when the doctor asked me if I had any concerns. That’s when I remembered her large tummy. He laid her down on the exam table, and his face quickly changed to reflect my concern.”

‘After the diagnosis, we found out we were pregnant. It sent chills down my spine. All I could think was, ‘We don’t have enough time! How am I supposed to raise my children without him?’

“We were excited and broken. For much of my pregnancy, I struggled knowing that my baby would never meet the greatest man ever. He had this thing where he nicknamed each child on delivery day. Pistol, Bullet, Slug, and Cricket. There was so much anticipation for him to walk into that delivery room and call him by his ‘name’.”

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