The following is an excerpt from a book I am working on about my daughter's battle against her diagnosis of Ewing's sarcoma which is an aggressive bone cancer most often found among the young. Read part one.
It was a rush but everything felt as if it were going in slow motion. It's not really happening, I thought, exiting the elevator and seeing people gathered in the corridor. I went to the room. Bedside there were two doctors and a nurse. The doctors ordered procedures that the nurse performed quickly and efficiently. They paid special attention to my daughter’s eyes — the incredible speed at which the pupils oscillated from right to left. Nystagmus was the name I heard them use for it. I watched Natalia. The tips of her fingers started to gently move and then her whole hand. In the blink of an eye Natalia was wracked by strong convulsions. She began to rise and fall from the bed. Almost immediately she started vomiting.
The resuscitation team sprang forward and I was told to stand back but I stood there like a pillar of salt, unable to move. I heard someone say "her heart's stopped. We have to get her back on track." I saw at once how they attached the paddle to the body of my child. I wanted so much to understand what was happening and then I was ushered out of the room. When I stood in a corridor I saw my mother-in-law crying and praying. She kept repeating, "It's already too late, it's already too late." I kicked the wall with all of the power that I could summon and released a shrill cry. Darek came up to me, hugged me tight. He said nothing; he could not. "She's really dying," I said softly, my voice emptied of all emotion.
Then I was surprised when, after a short time, the door opened and people exited into the hall pushing out the bed on which Natalia lay. She was unconscious, all the monitoring devices still attached, but alive. The doctor informed us that she would be transferred to the ICU on the tenth floor of the hospital. I was allowed a short time with Natalia. The doctor assured me that she was in a stable state and that the worst was over.
I felt an enormous weight fall from my shoulders. The doctor told me to go home and rest. He told me that I would need my energy. I thanked him from the bottom of my heart and I left for home to see my sons.
I felt a relief that I could not begin to describe, words would just be inadequate. I felt phantoms accompany me then inexplicably a severe headache set in and along with it a nameless sense of despair. At home my boys had waited to see me but I could not rid myself of the dark humor. I could not control myself. I cried out loud and my boys stared at me. I remember their frightened eyes — Igor, his dark eyes widened with fear and Lukac, his baby blues protectively watching his younger brother. I didn't have the strength to pretend to them. The anxiety flooded back with redoubled force. I regretted that I was not in the hospital. I don't know when but I eventually fell asleep. It was not for long, but it helped. Had I changed so much, at least I had mood swings, I thought. It's a good sign, far better than being numb. At least I could still feel.