I was convinced he had measles. The red spots behind his ears, the fatigue, fever, and dry cough lead me to this conclusion. Yousuf would refuse to walk to the car or up the stairs. He had been complaining about being cold a lot but these things I just thought were either exaggerations or things to get my attention. I just wanted to believe that he would be well very soon like all previous illnesses he had. He was stuck to me and kept crying so I could not take it anymore..I took him to the doctor.
I had a hard time dealing with Yousuf (who did not want to walk) and Omar (who is only 11months and cannot walk). I told my husband to meet me at the doctor to help me deal with both kids. He just arrived to the airport when I told him to meet me. It took him a long time ..as was suspected. The doctor examined Yousuf and was (as predicted) a nightmare fighting him to look at him. The doctor said nothing and ordered a blood test. I sat there waiting trying to juggle Omar and sick Yousuf being upset about being there. Abu Yousuf called. I told him, very irritated, not to come because we had already seen the doctor and were about done...of course having no idea what was about to happen. I was just waiting for the doctor to come back and tell me it must be measles or some other minor illness that will have to pass.
The doctor came in very serious and stood in front of me in a very intimidating way. He told me,"Yousuf is very sick." I said, "okay." He looked at me again and said, "Yousuf is very sick." Then I got worried and took a breath and asked, "What's wrong with him?" The doctor said, "Yousuf has a blood disease, do you know what that means?" I shook my head yes. He asked again looking at me very serious, "Do you know what that means?" The repeated question made me shake my head no and hold my tears back realizing this is no joke. He said,"Do you know what leukemia is?" I began to cry and shook my head yes. Abu Yousuf called back at that very moment. I answered crying telling him he has to come right away. He demanded to know what was going on and said that I was scaring him. The doctor explained the results of the blood test and why he came to the conclusion he did and told me to make no stops on the way to the ER at Texas Childrens Hospital. Two nurses were patting my back consoling me while I was crying my eyes out when Waleed walked in the door. The doctor came back and repeated the same information to him.
We drove in our own car (stopping only minutes at our house which is on the way to the hospital). We ran in the house to grab as many snacks, bottles of milk and diapers as we could. Only minutes later we were back on the road not sure what answers were waiting for us once we got there. As soon as we got there I carried Yousuf inside while Abu Yousuf waited for the vallet. I stood in the line to sign him in when a lady asked me why he was there she told me to go ahead inside to get him weighed and temperture taken. We were in a room pretty quick getting him ready for the iv and transfusions. I was just waiting for the tests to come back and for them to say, "Oops, there was a mistake. I dont know why your doctor sent him here, his blood is fine." Or maybe, "Oh, this is not leukemia but some virus we can easily treat right away." I was sure that that was going happen. Meanwhile, Yousuf was being tortured, screaming and crying and begging to go home. I would not leave his side. Abu Yousuf told me to leave when they were putting in the i.v.but I refused. I was strong for Yousuf. I held him and told him what a good job he was doing. Hours later the oncologist came in and confirmed our fears. He has leukemia.