On a Friday in August, when Poppy was 4 months old, we went to the pediatrician’s office for a well check. It was not our regular pediatrician but I voiced our concerns about the strange “cat-like reflex” that we kept seeing at different angles, on the changing table, in her high chair, etc.
We kept saying to ourselves, “This can’t be anything. We already know someone with retinoblastoma and it’s so rare. There’s no way that is what we’re dealing with!”
(My mother-in-law’s childhood friend has a granddaughter with retinoblastoma so that’s how we knew of it.)
That day though, in the pediatrician’s office, he confirmed our fear that something was amiss but he was thinking the problem was more likely a cataract, maybe Coats’ Disease, etc. He never mentioned cancer, though the thought was still lingering in my mind.
We were promptly sent to a pediatric ophthalmologist who confirmed that yes, this was retinoblastoma.
That very night, at around 10pm, we met with an ophthalmologist at Boston Children’s Hospital, who was just coming off of his shift. He was waiting for us when we arrived. As soon as we met him and from that point forward, we knew that Poppy was in excellent hands. She has been through 3 rounds of intra-arterial chemotherapy and has been in remission ever since. She lost her vision in that eye but she has never lost her spirit!!! She is a happy, healthy, strong-willed first grader who loves life to the fullest!
UPDATE: “Poppy continues to do very well and is thriving. She is now in second grade, loves dance, art, and music. She wants to be a fashion designer when she grows up!”