Monday, April 6, 2009

New Tumor

I just got a call from the doctor. They did a scan before David left the hospital, and the results show a new tumor that wasn't there a couple of weeks ago. And it is already 3 cm by 4 cm. They have called a Comfort Team meeting to decide how to manage his pain, which will soon be very bad again. They will be decreasing his behavior management meds, since they feel he will not have the energy to act out anymore.

A couple of weeks ago I met with some people from David's residence, his doctors and the ethics committee at the treating hospital. We decided to not fight the cancer but instead to just manage pain. With tumors in David's lungs, I cannot imagine him slowly suffocating while we ask him to hold on longer and longer. I have been struggling with that decision, especially since some of the people involved at his residence strongly disagree. I know they are opposing our wishes simply because they love David and don't want him to be gone, but still I worry that I am making the wrong choice.

Today, I searched for message boards about this horrible disease and found stories of parents that fought the cancer aggressively only to watch their beloved children die slowly, painfully. I simply cannot do that to David. So instead I cry uncontrollably and hope I am doing the best for him.

The cancer he has is called MPNST. It is an acronym for Malignant Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumor. I made the mistake of looking under Google images for "MPNST" and found a photo of a dismembered arm with a tumor. The hand was small and white, like that of a child. I see it in my mind whenever I close my eyes. I don't think I will sleep tonight.


  1. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Blessings!

  2. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Blessed Be

  3. Oh, Ant. I'm filled with sorrow for what you are having to go through. No parent should ever know this pain. I pray for your son to be as pain free as possible, and for you and the rest of your family be as well.


  4. I am so sorry for what you are going through. This is the thing that every parent hopes will never happen to them. You will all be in my thoughts and prayers over the next few months.

  5. Ant--
    just followed the trail here and read your posts. If I can send you strength to cope--that's what I'm doing. This is just hard.