Day One

4pm

So where do you start.... we often think of the 'worst day of our life' for me it wasn't the worst day, it was the beginning of the worst days.

We had a normal start to the morning on the 25th. I was arguing with Joshua about cleaning his teeth. He was charging around in his Spiderman suit. At 9am he said he had a headache again, and took himself to bed. I looked at him and thought, your headshape is different. You have hydrocephalus... then told myself not to be so stupid. He probably just needed glasses.

At 11am I could hear him moaning in bed, I ran up, 'my heads hurting' he screamed. That was it for me, I was going back to Hospital. We packed up, I gave him pamol, by the time we got there he was much improved and I almost contemplated turning around and going home!

Thank God I didn't.

As we walked into Rotorua Ed, I noticed his balance was off, thought again it was my imagination, but mentioned it anyway. Again we received excellent service from Rotorua, Eric Grangaard our consultant, said that it was probably time we scanned Joshua and we did at 3.30 pm.

3.50pm.... Joshua was out of the scanner it only took a minute. I had been busy focussing on him while he had the scan, as we put him back in the pushchair, I made the mistake of looking up. I could see the expressions on the radiology teams faces, I could see the shock. Next I was being told by the Nurse... 'the radiologist will come and see you shortly and tell you where too from here'. I knew it was not good.

 4pm.... Eric Grangaard walks in to our room. I get the quiet voice. 'I'm so sorry, Joshua has a brain tumour in the back of his brain."

Ground Zero. The Twin towers collapse in the Gallagher family. Every parents nightmare come true. I can here a noise, this gutteral wail, i realise it's coming from me. Joshua is frightened, he thinks he's done something wrong. "Whats wrong Mummy, why are you crying" we'd just read a book.

"Because your sick honey, you havnt done anything wrong.'' I dial Mike on the cellphone, and I put him on to Dr Grangaard, who has to tell him.

The next three hours is a blur, he has hydrocephalus, we are going to Starship tonight via ambulance, he may need two operations, one to releive the pressure and one to remove the tumour. It takes 5 attempts to get an IV in, I am distraught, I know this is just the beginning.

Mike arrives, we cling and we cry. Mikes Dad tells me.. "You knew, Mothers know. Thank god you bought him back."

At 8.30 the ambulance arrives and we depart in a fog, the ED staff were so kind, so caring, they couldn't do enough for us. Mike and I were in shock, which was good, shock protects you from the horror and it dulls the memory to a blur.

Joshua is still fine, his headache is gone, he sits between us in the ambulance for a while and eats an egg sandwich. This is where it gets so contradicting, one minute it's the bottom and then the next it's funny, or beautiful, and its ok. We are flat out on the phone, Mum is in Auckland, I want Patrick (my brother) to pick her up and tell her, I don't want her hearing over the phone.

We arrive at Starship at 11pm. Waiting for us in the neuro HDU, is Patrick, the neurological registrar. It was like coming out of a black of night, to port, this lovely man. His first words were 'Dont panic, all we know right now, is that he has a lump in his head. It could be anything from a benign lump to an aggressive medullablastoma, which is still very treatable. Tommorrow, he'll have an MRI, we'll know more about it after that."

I ask if its operable, he says it is very operable.

My Child has a brain tumour, I can't beleive it. This morning I was arguing with him about cleaning his teeth, tonight we are in Starship, hooked up to an ECG. It's unreal. 

Latest comments

13.07 | 21:33

Hi Anne-Marie - I found out about all this following a link someone liked on FB. I think of you all often. You brightened my life xxxxxx to you all.

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04.06 | 18:38

That was and amazing story so pleased you are all doing well Kind Regards Sandra Rohrlach

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08.03 | 17:48

Well done to all. Annemarie I did send a friends request on FB for "Josh updates" a couple of days ago(Mike Wish) but no reply.
Cheers to all from WA

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25.09 | 20:01

We are staying at CCF Arrowtown, and we read about your family in the guestbook. You can read about our medullo journey at www.rorygardiner.co.nz. xox

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