I don't remember everything, except the parts that hurt, but my parents told me that it went like this:
My mother took me to my pediatrician because I didn't seem to be feeling well and for some time, once my pediatrician, Dr. Julee Morrow, walk into the room she knew right away something was seriously wrong. She listened to my heart and told my mom she was calling Cooks Children's and they would be waiting for me. My mom was in a panic and called my dad who was on shift at the fire department.
I arrived at Cooks and Dr. Allender, a pediatric cardiologist, was waiting for us. They took me back and did an echocardiogram and my parents were told that all 4 of my valves were leaking and that my heart was twice the size it should be. My parents were told that I was probably going to need a heart transplant and gave me 30% chance of surviving. The next 48 hours would give them a better idea of how I would respond. They put me on digitalis, procardia, and lasix and within 36 hours I was 100% better. My valves were no longer leaking, and the size of my heart was starting to decrease. I stayed in Cooks for a week and a half and my parents were told I would be on those medications the rest of my life.
We went back to Dr. Allender for a 2 week check up and he said that everything looked great, my heart was normal sized, my valves looked good and my activity level was fine. My father asked about my stomach because it was still distended, which they believed was from an engorged liver due to the poor pumping ability of my heart. Dr. Allender agreed that it should not still be so distended so had us go to Cooks for sonogram just to see what was up. That's when they found it, a tumor where my right kidney used to be. Due to my recent battle with congested heart failure, which they attributed to my adrenal gland pumping out mass quantities of epinephrine due to the tumor, they only gave me a 50% chance of surviving the surgery, but Dr. Sanders didn't feel it was safe to wait due to the size of the tumor.
My parents believe that my saving grace was the anesthesiologist, who decided to use a type of saddle block that pumped morphine into my spine so it would be less stress on my heart. I went into surgery weighing over 30 lbs, I came out under 27. It was a 3 lb tumor that Dr. Miller removed. I am now 15 and my last check up still showed no signs of cancer, I wish all the kids I see when I go for my check up at the hematology lab could be as lucky as I am.
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