Living with Burkitt's

One family's experience with Burkitt's Lymphoma

Still cancer free!

Cancer Scan - Blood pressure check

Today was cancer scan day for our family. These days are stressful because we’re afraid of hearing bad news, and we spend hours at the hospital remembering some really difficult days. “Hey buddy, remember that time when you were in a lot of pain and had surgery and then we found out you had cancer…?”

Chris and I spent much of the night tossing and turning and dreaming strange dreams. Andrew must have been restless too, because he fell out of bed in the middle of the night. He didn’t even wake up. When Chris and I roused ourselves to get ready, we found that Andrew had got up and turned on his lamp for comfort sometime after the incident.

Madeline slept at my parents’ house, since we needed to be on the road by 7:30 a.m. This time, we were specifically reminded by the hospital that siblings are not welcome in the cancer clinic. I’m sure that comes up more often in the summer when school is out.

We started in the lab for a blood draw. Andrew was worried about it, but he didn’t even flinch when the needle entered his arm. Our next stop was Imaging for a CT scan. There, we spent 90 minutes in the waiting room while Andrew drank the contrast mixed with root beer.

Andrew has had his share of CT scans and has drunk a lot of contrast. He always vomited it back up until we found out last time that they can mix the contrast into almost anything. He tolerates soda a lot better than the fruit punch.

Then we were reminded that Andrew needed I.V. contrast too, and we were sad that they hadn’t inserted an I.V. when they took the blood sample. This didn’t come up before because they used the PICC line for his last CT scan. So, they had to poke Andrew’s other arm. Here’s how Andrew felt about that:

Cancer scan - I.V. in the CT

Next, we traveled to the cancer clinic to meet with Andrew’s doctors. Thankfully, it was all good news there! Andrew’s blood work looked great. So did his CT scan. There are two tiny benign-looking nodules in his lungs. They were there 4 months ago and haven’t changed. They are probably scar tissue or something from one of Andrew’s infections.┬áIf they were Burkitt’s Lymphoma, they’d be huge by now.

Our doctors continue to be optimistic that Andrew’s cancer will not return, though we will return for scans every two months for the next 18 months or so. The odds are strongly in our favor, which is a relief. We’re sure to sleep better tonight.