Joey is your normal 8 year old, gifted student into video games, Legos, Star Wars and Cub Scouts, but started getting sick a lot here and there. Things would happen and all of a sudden just clear up, chock it up to being a kid, right? Mother's Day weekend 2018 is when we started noticing something wasn't quite right. On mothers day he was sick and threw up a lot in the morning. A 24 hour stomach bug had been going around, so we thought that was it. He was fine but a little under the weather and not eating a lot for the next week until Thursday when he threw up while getting ready for school. He stayed home that day and didn't have any other issues. The next day was the end of year awards ceremony. Joey did great with awards but missed perfect attendance this year, out for a week due to flu and stated one of his goals was not to be sick and miss school next year like he did with the flu this year.
That weekend we went out on a very rainy but fun Boy Scout/Cub Scout joint camp out. He ran, played baseball, and was doing good until Saturday afternoon and he was not feeling well (thought it was due to the 1.5 mile hike) and slept all afternoon while it rained. That evening he threw up again and mom took him home where he threw up again. She went to take him to urgent care, but it was closed and he started feeling better so they had a low key night at home. Sunday dad and John got back from the camping trip and Joey was good, but taking it easy. No other issues that day.
On Monday, while getting ready for school he had diarrhea and mom decided enough was enough and took him to the doctor that morning. While there they found a mass around his bowels and figured he was super constipated, and found he had lost 8 pounds in 2 weeks (about 15% of his weight.) They did some X-rays, but told us that if his bowels were impacted we would have to go to St Joseph's Children's Hospital in Tampa, and if it was something else, we would have to go there anyway. Within 30 minutes we got a call that the X-rays were inconclusive and we needed to head to the hospital and that they have been called and will be waiting for us at the ER.
We headed over and got to the ER, sure enough, they were waiting for us and we got in. Very quickly they pulled a number of blood samples and sent them off for analysis and the doctor came in. He felt around Joey's abdomen and sent us for a CT scan to determine what was going on. Shortly after that we were sent for another X-ray of Joey's upper chest. Once all that was done, the doctor came back and told us that from his blood tests and CT results he was fairly confident that Joey has Lymphoma. The tumor was 16cmx12cmx11cm and was compressing his bowels and other organs which was the cause for the issues.
We ended up being scheduled for a mass biopsy on Wednesday and would determine the path forward at that point. If they determined it to be cancerous in the OR, they would install a port-o-cath for Joey to get chemo in. When Joey came out of surgery, he had his port installed. We were informed that yes, he had Lymphoma and the lab was determining the exact type and scheduled him for a Lumbar Puncture chemo injection in his spinal fluid and a bone marrow biopsy in the morning.