I knew the diagnosis before the Dr. told us. A quick google search on "lymphoma in kids" was enough to take me to a list of symptoms that fit perfectly, especially with the description of the "hard rubber like ball" the surgeon told us he'd removed during the biopsy of Ryan's lump.
It's rare. It's especially rare in kids under 15. What is even more rare is how fast the process of detection to diagnosis has been. These things sometimes take months to get diagnosed. I first noticed this lump a little more than a week ago. Our pediatrican was awesome as has the staff here at Loma Linda been- save for one PET Scan technician. (I'll save that story for another time.) The speed has also been frightening. It begs the question, why the speed unless this is really serious. We knew almost from the get -go that it was.
This will be my last blog post about this on this blog. I will continue the story in a new blog though and you'll be able to find a permanent link to it here and occasional mentions when there is an update. This is a kids art blog after all, and something I think I am going to need to keep me sane.
For now I'll let you in on the prognosis and the plan. The prognosis is amazingly good. As bad-horrible as this all is, it is the best case scenario of bad-horrible. They think they have caught it really early. Stage 1 or Stage 2 at the latest. They will be doing a few more tests to confirm this like a bone marrow biopsy and CT scans of his abdomen and pelvis, but they are fairly confident these will be clear. It just has to be done to make sure. This early staging means the treatment will be at least complicated as it can be.
Of course chemo comes next. He will be getting a PICC line inserted in his arm at the same time he gets the bone marrow biopsy sometime today. This will allow them to give him the medication and take blood without constantly doing new IV lines and poking him all the time. The downside is when he goes home, he won't be able to swim, rough house or do a lot of the things his friends do. The end of the line will be very near his heart and vigorous activities could cause the line to slip and to damage his heart. The upside is that he won't have to carry in groceries for me for a while.
He will lose his hair. It won't be too big a deal. He wears his hair pretty short anyway. My husband plans to shave his head too and my older son probably will too.
The long term of course is that he will always carry this. He will always be looking over his shoulder to see if it will come back. There will be questions and scans the rest of his life. For now though we will take care of today. Tomorrow has enough trouble of it's own. I also want to promise you something... God will make something good of this, just you wait and see!