Help?? 23yo son dx'd with brain tumor referred to Mayo immediately

  1. Also posted in MN state forum:

    Don't know what exactly I need help with - except everything. Very emotional and sad day. I'm a single nurse in Texas - my son, 23 yo, is in Air Force stationed in Grand Forks. He visited earlier this month to attend a tech school and also see his family - He had been complaining off and on for a while of having occasional double vision. While he was in Texas - it got worse. Returned to Grand Forks and immediately the AF MD sent him for MRI - yesterday. It was not good - it is not a definite dx yet - and I don't have the paperwork - but it appears it could be a brain stem glioma - or a number of other tumors. but it's on the brain stem - It's big - 2 inches - and no clear margins - and that's where life stands at this second. He went for EEG this morning and of course they could tell him nothing. Dr. yesterday said they would be sending him to Mayo soon. We don't know when. We think this week.

    He is in shock - I am in shock - but I need to be controlled and not fall apart.
    He is a new husband and a brand new daddy to a beautiful baby girl born 9/26. His wife is wonderful. Both her parents and bros/sis are in Grand Forks - and they are both NP's - and retired AF flight nurses. So my beautiful son/man has good support on all sides.

    But I'm also his MOM - and I'm aching I'm not there - And don't know whether to close up home - figure out bills, logistics and how and when to get there. So many unknowns right now.

    Questions - if any one can - When someone comes into Mayo - do they usually stay for a while - being tested, retested, dx'd and then tx'd? If his young wife comes with him - where does she stay. If I come up in the next week - where can I stay? Need advice on accommodations - Is getting to Mayo difficult if I drive - 3 day drive from here - should I try to fly and rent a car? Is this an impossible time of year in re to weather? I am feeling totally paralysed right now sitting in San Antonio TX - and not knowing more - but at the same time - I need to be ready to do something - maybe with little notice. My finances are tight as well - and with just taking off - I'm also taking off from shifts - I am single so it's just my income. But I don't really care about money - it's just the being there for my son - whose beautiful life has just come to a skidding stop and turned a sharp corner. The what ifs are making us insane.

    Sorry for such a long letter - and not sure if this was the right place on all nurses to post it.

    Any advice, support or prayers would be very much appreciated -
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   gracie05
    I don't have any answers to your questions, but I wanted to let you know you and your son (and his family) are in my thoughts and prayers. :icon_hug:
  4. by   SuesquatchRN
    Oh, my Lord.

    I have no advice. But I am thinking of you, and your son and his family.
  5. by   P_RN
    prayers.

    don't know what i would do. my son is 3000 mi away and a mama's first instinct is to go to her child.

    traveling to mayo clinic in rochester, minn.

    this has some information about the rochester facility. right now i know you are in a panic. talk with your son and daughter in law about what they want you to do. if you leave your job, and it turns out he needs different treatment or a delay in treatment, you will have a hard time of it.
    Last edit by P_RN on Dec 27, '06
  6. by   Little Panda RN
    Ashera, my heart and prayers are with you and your son, also his family at this moment. I have heard nothing but good about the Mayo clinic at Rochester. They will take very good care of your son. I am sure the doctor who ordered the MRI will have it sent to Mayo for the specialist to look at and interpret for himself. I know in my heart your son will be in good hands. I will be praying!

    nd_mom
  7. by   Princess74
    I don't have any answers for you but you and your family will be in my prayers. ((Hugs))
  8. by   SuesquatchRN
    *bump*
  9. by   Dabuggy
    I have no answers either. I have heard a lot of good things about Mayo. I live in Michigan and know a girl who was sent there. Also my mother for a number of years received a news letter published by Mayo.

    He will be in my prayers also.

    Dabuggy
  10. by   jnette
    Oh no. I am so very, VERY sorry to read this. How heartbreaking.. I can literally feel your panic, your heart pounding.

    Nor do I have the info you seek, but I'm sure someone will pop up soon enough. P_RN supplied a good link, there will be others. I'm sure you could Google it as well, and find many links there.

    I just want you to know that we are here embracing you gently, and that we all wish the best possible outcome for your son.

    We are pulling for him, and wishing you strength, wisdom, and guidance.

    I hope you find the answers to your questions.

    (((Gentle Hugs)))
  11. by   AnnieOaklyRN
    I am sorry this is happening to you and your family especially your son. I wil say a few prayers for you and your family. :icon_hug:

    swtooth
  12. by   JeanettePNP
    Ashera, prayers and blessings to you and your son. I wish you all the strength you need to get through this difficult period.

    Would it be possible to schedule a short trip to MN now just to be with your son? Then you can get a better idea of what he has, what will need to be done, and you'll be in a better position to make a long-term decision about whether to stay in TX or pack up and go to MN.
  13. by   Ashera
    Oh my! You guys have no idea what a comfort and balm you have been for my heart in just the last 24 hours ! The way everyone has reached out and just...been there. We can't ever forget - as nurses, moms, dads, friends, lovers ....how sometimes just a word or a touch speaks volumes. Thank you so much!

    Update: My son had his EEG yesterday morning. Was simply told late yesterday by a Colonel in the AF - that it 'looked good' - period. Helped calm him a bit - and I grabbed on to it as well and used it to sleep maybe a little better....yeah, right.
    Anyway - he is scheduled to drive to Mayo January 1st with his wife - appt early Tues with neurosurgeon - anticipates right now this will be out pt - and says the AF has written this as a 4 day 'order' so he thinks he will be returning back to the base on Thursday. So really - we won't know anything more til Mayo sees him - and we get a more definitive dx - and then all the what - ifs drop off and we have A NAME - a PLAN - and then know where to channel all this fear and focus on WHAT IS.

    After talking with my son and his inlaws who are in Grand Forks - who are also both nurses - and whom I love as well - I will wait to come up. He and his wife need to do this together - as much as I want to be there. If I am there - I might dilute the strength they need find in each other - by being someone else to lean on. And I agree - but you know how my heart must be feeling. Then...when they return - and we see what happens from here - I
    will have more information to further stir into my pot of not having a clue what I should be doing. Maybe it will become clearer.

    I sleep - and I'm fine - and then I wake up and my son's face is in front of me and I'm thinking ...this isn't real. Been going through this same stuff on a much less level everytime he's been deployed. But THIS is not the way it was supposed to happen.

    Think it might be time to find a good therapist - TODAY - but until then - all of my beautiful nurse angel friends are worth ten times over that in your instant support, love and prayers!

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