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November 2017 was the start of our journey. Boobie had been complaining off an on about headaches and pain in his head. Initially I thought maybe he was tired and just needed to get some sleep. That is until he woke me up in the middle of the night with swollen lips. I immediately took him to the Emergency Room at Children's Hospital of Alabama. By the time we got there the swelling was gone; however, I informed the physician of his complaints from earlier in the day. We were advised to follow-up with Boobie's pediatrician. Fast forward to that following Monday. We went to his pediatrician to get a more thorough exam. Initially we were advised that Boobie had a muscle spasm and to treat his pain with Advil or Tylenol and to exercise the muscles in hopes of improvements.
After a few visits back and forth the the pediatrician, because I wasn't seeing any improvements, I started to get worried. I asked for a CT Scan because I knew something more was going on rather than a simple muscle spasm and noticed that Boobie had resistance when turning his neck. His head was "stuck" in a tilted position. His pediatrician ordered an X-Ray which came back fine. I prayed about it and was led to an amazing pediatric orthopedist. We were able to schedule an appointment to see him in January 2018 and that's when we discovered that Boobie had a cyst in his neck.
The pediatric orthopedist referred us to a neurosurgeon so that they could come up with a game plan for removal. We had a team of physicians exam Boobie and when we got the ok to proceed we scheduled the procedures and tests needed to help determine the best way to remove the cyst because it was attached to blood vessels which were also attached to his heart.
Our surgery was scheduled for March 1, 2018 and I just knew that once the cyst was removed we would be done. Little did I know that would be the beginning of our journey. Upon the removal of the cyst it was sent for a biopsy and that's when it was discovered that the cyst was actually lymphoma. ALK-Negative Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma to be exact.
Hearing this diagnosis turned my family's world upside down but with an amazing team of physicians and staff along with supporting family and friends, we are almost at the end of our aggressive chemotherapy treatments and is closer to hearing the words, "ALL CLEAR"!