A new environment

September 26, 2018

“A hospital isn’t a home,” Goldberg said.

Home was with his chorus family and with his kitten at his house. He had cards and posters all over his room to remind him of all the people who were thinking of him.

Jett with all of the letters and posters that he received.

“I got probably 200-300 cards — half the people I didn’t even know — they were just my parents’ friends. I got five huge posters of me and my friends and it made things easier,” Goldberg said. “It reminded me of what life was like before [the tumor].”

In order to get back to his normal life, he needed to take the first step toward recovery: surgery. Three days after he had been diagnosed, he was in the hospital getting ready for his first one.

“With my first surgery, they were trying to be super conservative about it, so they didn’t take out the whole thing,” Goldberg said. “It was attached to my brain stem, so I barely could move. I was in a coma for a few weeks. I couldn’t talk or eat or move.”

Huft looked at her son. She’d remember the boy on the chorus stage to give her hope. When she looked at Jett, she looked at strength.

“I was next to him the whole time. Sleeping next to him, I never left his side, so when they came to get him to take him to surgery, I went with him up until after they put him to sleep…” Huft said. “Even after that, I asked them if I could still stay with him if I promised to stay still, but they said no.”

Huft sat in the waiting room, putting all of her energy into thinking about her son and how fast things had changed.

“He didn’t just have the brain tumor — we had the brain tumor. I was next to him the whole time,” Huft said.

She held his hand when he barely had the energy to lift a finger. She filled the room with conversation when it was silent. She was his cheerleader.

“I was a lot more dependent on my parents and my brothers and I was pretty independent before. I’ve always been a mama’s boy. Always,” Goldberg said. “But when I was in the hospital, she was always there next to me 24/7. So I grew a lot closer to her.”

But when I was in the hospital, she was always there next to me 24/7. So I grew a lot closer to her.

— Jett Goldburg

However, the first surgery was just the beginning of the long road to recovery — including a second surgery that removed the rest of the tumor.

The second surgery took place five days after his first — on his mother’s birthday.

“People always ask me what I remember, but I don’t. My mom doesn’t tell me much about what it is about,” Goldberg said. “I was on a lot of drugs, I couldn’t move, it hurt to swallow because of the tube.”

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