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Aug 2, 2019 Latest post:
Nov 28, 2019
In early May of this year, Gabby began to experience issues when she swallowed. It first felt as if a pill had gotten stuck in her throat and over the course of a few weeks progressed to difficulty when she was eating food and eventually drinking. Our Pediatrician ordered an upper GI and referred us to a GI specialist. Upper Gi was without concern and GI Specialist (she is awesome) referred us for an ENT consult and scheduled us for a Upper endoscopy. ENT consult was all clear, but the Endoscopy discovered a .5cm mass obstructing the opening of Gabby's esophagus. A CT scan of her chest was ordered and a much larger mass was discovered in her middle mediastinum, sitting between her esophagus and her air way. So thats where our Journey starts... Gabby was admitted to AI Dupont on Monday July 29th through the ER. We were met by the ER team, the Radiology team, the Oncology team, and the Surgery Team. To say we were a bit overwhelmed was an understatement. Rich and I fought back the tears while Gabby entertained the docs and nurses with her swift wit and charm. We heard words that none of were prepared for. We were thinking food allergy.... I was ready for Celiac disease...not TUMOR, Leukemia, lymphoma......More CT Scans of the stomach and pelvis, extensive bloodwork and EKG then off to the PICU ...... I should also mention that Maria was getting ready to sit for the Bar Exam in Minneapolis the following 2 days and we decided that we would not inform her until after the bar was completed on Wednesday afternoon. One of the hardest decisions Rich and I have had to make. The test provided good information but not enough; biopsy was necessary. After much deliberation of the teams, it was decided to go at it with the Interventional radiologist. Gabby would undergo the procedure on Wednesday the 31st and hopefully enough tissue could be retrieved to secure a diagnosis. Tuesday was a day of waiting and worry, avoiding Maria and entertaining Gabby. Wednesday the biopsy was 3 hours long but productive. The Radiologist was able to access the mass in the most direct way through Gabby's throat and she did not require the chest tube which we were prepared for. On Thursday Maria flew home from Minneapolis, as we knew she would, and we received the news that it was Lymphoma....likely Hodgkins but that the biopsies would be sent to National Cancer institute for final diagnosis and staging. A PET MRI was necessary for diagnosis and would be scheduled for Friday. The good news was that there would likely be no movement over the weekend and since Gabby was feeling good there was no reason for her to stay in the hospital to await the results. The PET went well....and we came home. The entire week is surreal..... for all of us but especially for Gabby! She quickly took control of the situation and named her tumor Bill...."I am going to KILL Bill" and she means it! There have been may tears... and her wit already using the situation to get what she wants in a humorous way....But she is scared as we all are..... but we are also strong and taking one day at a time to manage and fight the fight. The support we have received already is unbelievable and so very appreciative. We are clearly blessed and we are gearing up to KILL Bill! I will do my best to keep all informed with the plans and Gabby's progress. Thank you for the love and support! Game on!