How It Began: Part 2

From James:

This is the second in a series of posts describing the early events surrounding the discovery and diagnosis of So Young’s brain tumor.

We went for the MRI at a local imaging center in Woodbridge on Friday, November 12. So Young wore her Marine Corps Marathon shirt. They allowed me to sit in the room while the MRI was performed. I didn’t bring a book or anything, so I just sat there praying or sleeping, or closing my eyes and pretending to sleep or pray.

They admonished So Young to “keep completely still,” which of course always makes you all the more able to keep completely still.

I remember that as we walked out, the radiologist seemed to be scurrying around more than he was when we got there. They said we would get the results in four days, but then just as we left they said within 24 hours.

Right after the MRI, we went shopping for Shannon’s birthday party, which was scheduled for that night. I remember discussing how four days was a long time to wait for the results. Or did they say 24 hours? Which was it? But it was nothing, so it didn’t matter when they told us. Actually, a longer wait would mean nothing was wrong.

When we arrived home, there was a message on the answering machine.

“Hi, this is Dr. Jonathan Amy, trying to reach So Young Gage. We have the results of your MRI, and I need to discuss them with you.”

There was something surreal about that moment and everything that happened over the next few minutes. We were so afraid and only reacting moment by moment to what was happening to us.

I prayed out loud for So Young before we called, that God would help us no matter what the doctor said. I told So Young to sit down at the dining room table and that we would speak to the doctor together on speakerphone.

“I have the results of your MRI here, and I am afraid it is quite serious.” His voice was earnest yet clinically detached.

“I’m sorry, there is no other way to say it. The MRI revealed that you have a brain tumor. It is on your thalamus. It is a serious situation, and we need to act quickly.”

I remember looking at So Young and the terror in her eyes.

“Am I going to die?”

He told us that most likely it would have to be surgically removed and that only a few neurosurgeons in the area are qualified to do that on tumors in this part of the brain. He recommended Georgetown, UVA, or Johns Hopkins.

Within the hour, Dr. Amy had set up an appointment for us at Georgetown for the following Wednesday, which I promptly moved to Monday morning.

<< Part 1 | Part 3 >>

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One Response

  1. You all continue to be in my heart.

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