We arrived back at the clinic, and I was not sure if I was imagining things or if everyone was looking away from us. We waited for the doctor and Georgia continued to whine that she didn't want to go to the hospital. Dr. Ball finally came in. He said, "the bloodwork showed that Georgia's white cell count was about 111,000." I did not know what this meant - was that too many, not enough? He continued, "I already called Arkansas Children's Hospital and talked to Dr. Saylors. He needs you to come down there tonight. I am just going to tell you that they are probably going to find out she has leukemia. Now that does not mean what it used to, not even what it meant 10 years ago." My mind was racing - they made a mistake, there's no way, they made a mistake, how are we going to afford going down there, I don't even have gas in my tank. He gave us directions to the hospital and we left. Then I had to call Scott. "You probably want to sit down," I told him. It was rare for me to even be able to get him on the phone during the day. "The doctor says Georgia probably has leukemia. He doesn't know what kind but thinks the hospital can tell us by morning." I don't remember his exact words but I think that like me, at this point he was thinking they were wrong. Neither one of us cried and we were both pretty calm, possibly because of the denial. I did feel sick to my stomach, but if you knew what I have dealt with over the years you would think that quite a miracle. I might get into that another blog.
I drove home in autopilot. Georgia still whining and crying in the backseat that there was nothing wrong with her. I called my mom and called Scott a few more times - trying to figure out what to do with the other three kids. Somewhere in one of those phone calls, Adrian overheard and then all the kids knew. This was very hard. They immediately had pictures of sad, bald children in hospital beds with their crying parents at their sides. When I arrived at the house to pack, people in our small town were already beginning to find out. A couple friends and family arrived with cash to help us out. What a blessing they were. Amid tears, we packed and the kids went home with our friend Audra. Georgia had cheered up a little now and she danced around and sang, "no one needs to be sad because I am going to be fine." My little prophet.
We drove to Little Rock in record breaking time. There was no radio, no talking - we just drove and Georgia slept. When we arrived at the hospital, I was quite discouraged by the appearance of the emergency room. It was very run down. This was one of the best children's hospitals in the world? We now know that yes it is, but at the time I was concerned. We sat in the ER for about 5 hours. They repeated the blood work, and 2 or 3 doctors came and told us that she very likely had leukemia and we just needed to figure out what kind. I still did not cry. I don't know why but I think that it still did not seem real. Around 4 or 5 in the morning they admitted us and took us upstairs... and then it seemed real. We entered the cancer wing of the hospital. The walls were covered with murals of little bald children playing by a stream. The entryway said "cancer and blood diseases unit." Then it became real. They put Georgia in a bed and then I ran out of the room gasping for air. Fear overcame me and I sobbed until there was nothing left in me. Georgia's first Hematology nurse, Kristen, held me while I cried. I had never laid eyes on her until about 30 seconds before I fell into her arms an emotional wreck. We survived that first night and waited for news the next day. Where was my faith? I needed it now more than ever, but where was it.