Friday, May 30th, 2008

The family takes off school and work to be together. We begin calling surgeons, to find out who is the best, trying to be seen as soon as possible. We also begin the heart wrenching process of telling all our friends, coworkers and family members “the news.” It seems unreal; everyone is shocked and says I am too young. Everyone wants to know what they can do to help. The only thing I ask for is to be put on prayer lists. My best friend Beth’s husband Jason starts a facebook group: “I Will Pray for Angie Emond.” We end up with almost 300 members. From then on my best friend Sam, who lives out of state, updates the page whenever my mom is unable to do so.

My mom calls her longtime urologist, asking for his recommendations. He pulls some strings for us, and we make some appointments. We talk to a surgeon from Beaumont, my mom’s urologist says the surgeon isn’t qualified. He suggests University of Michigan. We plan to stay the night at my parents’ house before my MRI.


Thursday, May 29th, 2008

Dr. Brayton is able to get me in for a CT scan. It is my first of many. I am in excruciating pain. Afterwards I try to go to the bathroom and scream out loud as I try to lower my body to sit on the toilet. Dr. Brayton again makes some calls and is able to get my results much sooner than I would have been able to, as I did not have a primary care physician. She calls my mother that evening with the news that everyone has been dreading.

It’s cancer.

I watch my family immediately fall to pieces, but I am numb. Somehow I feel like I knew this was coming. I sit in the chair, unable to move, unable to cry, as my family goes up to the urgent care to talk to Dr. Brayton and look over the write up of my CT scan. They believe it is large cell renal carcinoma, only treatable by surgery. An MRI is scheduled for Wednesday. My mom begins her quest for information regarding my cancer and treatment, starts a folder of all the results we are receiving. I gratefully allow her to take over. I just don’t want to know.


Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

I go into St. Joseph Mercy for my ultrasound. My best friend Beth takes the day off work to go with me. I have been experiencing increasingly bad back pain. The technician spends a lot of time with me. The longer she takes the more panicked I become. I have talked to Renee Brayton, a parent of two of my preschoolers and doctor at the original urgent care facility I went to. She has had me come in for blood and urine tests. She makes some calls and gets the results of my ultrasound that day. There is a very large mass on my left kidney. It is unclear if it is benign or malignant. Nobody is happy about this news, but we try to stay hopeful.


Friday, May 16th, 2008

For a few days now I have been feeling a bump on my left side when I lay down. My parents want me to get it checked out. After talking to them, I decide to go to Advanced Urgent Care in Howell. The doctor there feels the “palpable lump,” and takes x-rays. The medical assistant tells me that the results are unclear, and I can either go to the emergency room that night for an ultrasound, or try to schedule one. It is the busiest time of the school year for me with picnics, Mother’s Day Teas, last day of school, and PS graduation. I decide to schedule an ultrasound.