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Our journey began as a mere stomach pain. They told us her gallbladder was not functioning properly, so on that Tuesday night.... during the volleyball game, she got so “out of breath” and asked to be taken out (if you know Kenzie Beth, she never wants out of the game). She had difficulty getting her breath, felt nauseous, and dizzy. She tried hard to regain her strength to play; however, she said it physically hurt to breathe. After a call to our physician, we were on our way to the ER at Murray Calloway County Hospital.
In our minds.... we anticipated getting checked out and coming home without a gallbladder. Upon tests and new symptoms, they gave her a cat scan. We settled in and she was finally resting. I even dozed off. The doctor came in and explained that they found a large mass on her chest. He did not feel it was related to her gallbladder. He explained that it was beyond the scope of MCCH and recommended being transferred to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital in Nashville, TN. In the ambulance she went (we weren’t allowed to ride with her) and we followed close behind.
At the registration into the critical care ER at Vandy, the doctor explained there was a large mass in her chest. When I mentioned gallbladder, he immediately ruled that out. He explained tests were needed and an oncologist team would be there to talk with us very quickly. And just like that, the C word was not only mentioned, but it was already in their scope of Kenzie’s diagnosis. We were very positive and prayed they were just “over-analyzing” the situation.
They knew, from the moment we were admitted, that this mass was cancerous. They just needed pathology to prove it. They took a biopsy of her mass, and also explained that she was holding fluid around her heart and in her lungs. They declared the mass was lymphoma, but needed additional time to determine the type. After our shock, we requested to be transferred to St. Jude.