Cameron Jackson

First post: Jul 29, 2019 Latest post: Nov 24, 2019
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Cameron had always been very healthy until he was diagnosed with mononucleosis in February of 2019. It was a pretty severe case and he was sick for almost three weeks. During his mono he developed swollen lymph nodes on the right side of his neck. After he recovered the lymph nodes remained enlarged.  They didn't bother him much; they just didn't go away. We went to see his doctor to find out if Cam could be cleared for activity since he wanted to run track in the spring.

His doctor turned him down because his spleen was still enlarged from the mono and asked about his lymph nodes. He got some blood work and an ultrasound of his spleen done and we were told to come back in a few weeks to check on his spleen and lymph nodes again. We did that and once again asked if he could be cleared for activity. He felt fine and the only thing not normal at this point that we knew of were the lymph nodes, which still were not bothering him in  any way except for being there.

At that point our doctor said that he'd like to refer us to a surgeon to have a biopsy of his lymph nodes and find out what was going on in there, and to get a chest x-ray.  Cam had his surgery and we waited for results. The following week we were informed that Cam's biopsy had come back positive for classic Hodgkin's lymphoma and that his chest x-ray also showed enlarged lymph nodes. Our doctor recommended that we immediately pursue treatment and we chose to bring Cameron to Mayo.  

We brought Cam to Rochester on Wednesday, July 24th, 2019. The amazing machinery of the Mayo Clinic swung into action on his behalf and we spent three days getting blood work, CT scans, a PET scan, an echocardiogram and pulmonary function tests.  They re-ran the biopsy specimens and confirmed that Cameron did indeed have classic Hodgkin's lymphoma - nodular sclerosis, and would need chemotherapy. 

So within the space of three weeks, more or less, Cameron went from a recent high school graduate enjoying summer and looking forward to starting college in the fall to a cancer patient who had to worry about safeguarding his fertility and losing his hair. 

When we sat him down to tell him the news, he was beyond amazing - calm and accepting and telling us that he'd wondered earlier on what might be causing his lymph nodes to stay enlarged, and had googled the possible causes and thought that it might be lymphoma. He just had one question: "I'm not going to die, right?"  Thank God our answer could be "No."

We are so lucky, if there is anything lucky about a cancer diagnosis, that Cam's cancer is one of the most treatable and that he has a very good chance of complete recovery.  He's ready to do the hard work of getting to that place and we know that he's going to make it happen. There are good days and bad days ahead as we learn what living with cancer means to Cam and to all of us as a family.  We are so grateful for the love and support of our family and friends and for our faith in God that will see us through until Cameron can say that he is cancer-free.

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