Friday, August 12, 2011

Not Exactly What I Wanted to Hear

Hodgkins Lymphoma.

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!

16 comments:

Nanna said...

What a wonderful attitude to a terrible diagnosis! You have such great faith and God will make something good of this! Prayers to you and your family!

Shifra said...

Blessings and prayers to you and your family during this time. Wishing you strength and your son a complete and speedy recovery.

April said...

We will be praying! We had some friends who walked the same road just last year--their son is home and starting back to school this week! God IS good through it all.
Hold onto that hope in Christ.
~april

karen said...

When my sister was ill, she told me "You never know who you touch when they watch you go through all this medical stuff - from close up to afar - it affects people". I will keep your son and family in my prayers, and remind you of Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Your comprehension of these words is phenomenal - God bless you and your family.

Karen E
Art Teacher from Tx

The Art Fairy said...

Thank you so much for your kind words, thoughts and prayers. Each one counts!

teebo said...

My prays will be strong for you and your family.

Mary said...

Your family will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. As a fellow SoCal resident, I know you are in the best of hands at Loma Linda. My daughter was hospitalized with an intestinal virus at Cedars Sinai for a week when she was 18 months old. I have to say I have never looked at her the same way again. I still hover over her too much to this day, 8 years later. :)
God bless your precious son.

Anna Pietrolungo, Essendon North Primary School said...

Prayers and best wishes from down under. I wish you and your boy, all the very best. God bless! Anna:)

Michelle said...

Hello,
I came here for my daughter's homeschooling curriculum, and this was the first post that I read. I wanted to send my prayers your way for you're son's recovery. If you are interested in looking into alternative treatments for him, Dr Robert Morse is a genius and has helped many, many people with cancer and other diseases. I am a regular viewer of his YouTube videos and have learned so much from him. You can ask him any questions and he will answer back in his videos! Here is a link to his YouTube site:

http://www.youtube.com/user/robertmorsend#p/u/142/87uWGAiv88o

Thank you for your lovely blog and bless you!

Michelle said...

I meant your son's recovery, of course!

Angie said...

I missed this when it was posted. I'm sorry that it wasn't better news, but glad that the prognosis is relatively good. Your family will be in our prayers.

artteachergirl said...

Your family is in my heart and prayers. I am so sorry for what you are facing. God will indeed make something good of this, how can He not when He loves us all so much? I am going to be reading your other blog and praying for a strong walk for all of you. Best, Vicki

candice ashment art said...

I have just started posting on my blog a lot of my art projects with my kids and others and have been viewing kid art blogs...and I just came across yours today. What a wonderful blog and ideas!
I am so sorry to hear about your son. I wish and pray all the best for him and your family.

Chef Penny said...

Praying for minimal procedures and a speedy recovery.

Joi said...

I will keep your family in my thoughts.

K Harrison said...

Oh, Julie. I just read this. And after also just reading the story of the Japanese mother you posted on FB my throat is all tight and eyes are now burning in pain!
You know you can put me on that "last minute call for need" list. Love and Prayers, KIm