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22 hours ago
Gabriel Quentin Gitzen, age 3, was diagnosed with Burkitt Lymphoma on September 6, 2018. It all started July 25 when Joe and I both noticed that Gabe's right tonsil was very swollen and red. He had a cold the week before so we thought he was still fighting that off. Then a week later it was still there and still large and red. Made appointment with our family doctor. Thought it was something bacterial and sent us home with an antibiotic. Told us if it doesn't get better by next week come back in. So the next week we go back in to see Dr. and he refers us to ENT Dr. Dr. Todd, ENT comes to Madison hospital every Monday so we thought the easiest was to see him in Madison versus going to Sioux Falls. The earliest we could see him in Madison was Sept. 10. We didn't like that it was almost 4 weeks away but we thought by that time maybe the swelling would of gone away and we wouldn't even need to see the Dr. A week past, Gabe was barely eating anything because it was so hard to swallow. Meal time was very frustrating for us and I had enough so I called Dr. Todd's office to see if we could get in earlier even if we had to go to Sioux Falls. We got in August 24. Dr. told us he hasn't seen anything like this in his 25 years. Was thinking it was an abscess. Even said he feels confident that this is not cancer. Sent us home with another antibiotic plus a steroid said if it doesn't change over the weekend let them know and do a tonsillectomy and adnoidectomy. Monday came, no change, so we set up to have surgery on Friday, August 31, 2018. A day I will never forget. We had to be down to Sioux Falls by 5am. We knew it was going to be a long day but we had no idea a simple common tonsillectomy was going to go the way it did and change our lifes forever. Surgery started around 7:10. Its about a 45 min procedure. So when 45 mins past and we still weren't asked to come back to talk to the Dr. about how surgery went and others got to go back and we started before them. Panic sets in. After about 1.5 hours we were asked to come back to this tiny little room I will never forget. Dr. came in and said surgery went as well as expected but.... we found a malignant cancer on the tonsil. Wow it felt like he just punched me in the gut with super hulk strength. How did a common tonsillectomy turn into cancer?? He had no other symptoms just the large tonsil.