Living with Burkitt's

One family's experience with Burkitt's Lymphoma

A light at the end of the tunnel

on March 6, 2013

Last chemo! Last chemo!

We checked into Primary Children’s Medical Center to begin Andrew’s last round of chemotherapy today. If you think I’m excited now, wait until next week when we ring the bell and walk out of the inpatient unit for what we hope is the last time.

We had an encouraging visit with our attending physician in the clinic this morning. He told us that because of the stage in which Andrew’s cancer was diagnosed and the treatment he received, the odds that Burkitt’s Lymphoma will rear its ugly head again are slim to none. We’ll believe it when we see it, but it was such a relief to hear those words.

If no further complications block our path, we will return just before Easter for scans, and to remove the PICC line. We will return for scans every three months for the next two years. If the cancer does not return in that time, he will be officially cured.

There could be other long-term complications from chemotherapy and Andrew’s chance of getting leukemia is a little higher than the rest of us, but there isn’t much we can do about that, so I’m going to celebrate first and worry about those things later.

This is my "I don't want my picture taken and I'm barely tolerating you" face.

This is my “I just want to get back to my movie” face.

We were finally able to ask about getting back to life-as-usual after chemotherapy is over. If the scans are clear and the PICC line comes out in time, Spring Break is on for the first week of April. We aren’t going to make any reservations or commitments, but we are brainstorming ideas and if all goes well, we are going somewhere to celebrate our freedom.

Andrew has clearance to return to school as soon as his immune system bounces back and he feels well enough. After Spring Break sounds good to me.

There are still a lot of “ifs” ahead of us, but hope feels good right now.

In the meantime, we are in the hospital. Our spinal tap was scheduled later than usual today, so everything is on a later schedule. Andrew was NPO until about three o’ clock. He hasn’t had much of an appetite lately, but knowing that he couldn’t eat made him hungry, so it was a long morning. He was able to drink Sprite, apple juice and water until 11:00, so at least we had that.

We will begin a second round of CYM. That will probably begin very late tonight because we started later than usual, and it will take several hours to pump Andrew full of the fluids that will hydrate him and adjust his PH to balance the acid in the Methotrexate.

We have been assigned to K Pod. It’s the dungeon, or island, depending on how you look at it. We officially have our worst view ever, but at least our room has a couch. I sleep much better on the couches than the pull-out chairs, so we’ll survive without the view.

All that matters now is LAST CHEMO!!

A room with a view

A room with a view


10 responses to “A light at the end of the tunnel

  1. Yay!!! Way to go, Andrew! And way to go, Mama! Can’t wait to hear about life WITHOUT Burkitt’s!

  2. Staci says:

    Allison we are so excited that Andrew is on his final round. We have been praying and anxiously waiting for this. Here’s hoping all goes well. If you desire to come south for spring break please let us know. We would all love to see you and the family. Good Luck! Love Staci and Family

  3. My heart is leaping for joy right now! You are a wonder mom and a wonder family. Dream big for your travel this year. You deserve it!!! Sending hugs and high fives from Seattle!

  4. katiebaird@gmail.com says:

    So glad to see you are approaching the end! We continue to pray that all goes well for Andrew and your whole family. Hang in there!

  5. Circe says:

    Yay! Sending tons of positive and loving thoughts your way!

  6. Lindsay says:

    As a consistent follower of your blog, I am so excited for you. My heart has broke for you with every experience. I am so happy you guys are going to be getting back to close to normal. It’s going to be so great to hear the stories and see the pictures of recovery! You guys are so strong and are so brave to put your feelings out there for us to read. But wishes to the whole family! 🙂

  7. Lisa Henrie says:

    Wahoo!! Best. News. Ever!! So happy to hear!!

  8. claude says:

    Great news. Always fight to win. My son is now 4 1/2 cancer free from Burkitt’s.

  9. Angela says:

    Is your son still ok? My son is undergoing treatment for Burkitt right now.

    • Allison says:

      Hi Angela. Yes, Andrew is healthy and cancer free today. We just had his 4-year checkup. I’m sorry that you have to go through this. It was a life changing experience for us, but it’s nice to be on this side of it.

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