Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.
As many of you know, our sweet Kaleb has been diagnosed with Berkitt’s Lymphoma. We know there are so many of you who love Kaleb, and our family. We’re hoping this can be an outlet to share what is going on and to keep you updated. Please continue to keep him in your prayers.
Kaleb’s first symptoms began around his 12th birthday, August 23. He threw up without warning while eating his birthday breakfast. On August 31, Kaleb left school early for extreme abdominal pain. His doctor ruled our appendicitis, and hernia, and began to watch for acid reflux. Tracy and Kaleb watched what he ate and drank to try to alleviate some of the symptoms, however nothing was helping. The symptoms began to increase in frequency and severity. Kaleb began to vomit without warning while he was eating and had bouts of nausea. Next was weight loss. Not alarming of course, when you begin to watch what you eat, weight loss is a natural effect. Kaleb was also seen in his pediatrician’s office for swelling in his groin on September 9. They performed an ultrasound, found nothing wrong, and sent Kaleb home. However, the symptoms continued…and they continued to worsen. Kaleb symptoms included vomiting, nausea, decreased appetite, extreme abdominal pain, no energy and fatigue, asking to go to bed early. Tracy knew something was off and made an appointment with Kaleb’s pediatrician.
On Wednesday, October 12, Kaleb was seen in his pediatrician’s office. Kaleb had lost 11 pounds. She found a large lump in Kaleb’s right side over his liver and colon. The pediatrician called ahead to Kosair Children’s Hospital. She told Tracy that the doctors were waiting for them to arrive.
Tracy and Kaleb arrived at Kosair Wednesday evening. An ultrasound showed a large mass in Kaleb’s abdomen, and a CT scan confirmed. Tracy was told late Wednesday night that the tumor was most likely cancerous, they would be admitted to the oncology unit that night, and Kaleb’s case was being handed over to the pediatric oncologist.
On Thursday, October 13, Kaleb had a double biopsy performed. Doctor’s took samples from a lympnode in his groin and from the mass in his abdomen. Immediately after the biopsy, the surgeon confirmed it was cancer. We wouldn’t know for sure until the tests came back, however the surgeon said it was one of two cancers. Kaleb would go back for surgery the next day, Friday October 14 to have his port placed and to have spinal fluid and bone marrow removed. Doctors were quick to see if the cancer had spread to his bone marrow or central nervous system. Kaleb also started steroids to begin killing the cancer cells.
Saturday, October 15, it was confirmed that Kaleb has Berkitt’s Lymphoma. Berkitt’s Lymphoma is a very aggressive, fast growing lymphoma. We were told that it can double in size within 24-36 hours. The good news is that although it grows very fast, it also dies very fast—meaning that there is a great chance it will respond to treatment. Kaleb will be in treatment for 6-8 months. He will receive chemo in his port, as well as injections in his spine. This type of cancer spreads quickly to the central nervous system. While receiving treatment, Kaleb will have to be in the hospital. Part of his road map to recovery will be one week in the hospital, two weeks at home, and so on. It will be very important that family members and any visitors practice great handwashing to help keep Kaleb healthy during his treatment. If anyone wishing to visit is ill, or has been exposed to illness, Kaleb could be at risk. If Kaleb is sick, he may not receive treatment.
This has been such a shock to our family. It has been so amazing to see and feel the outpouring of love and support for everyone, especially Kaleb. How IS Kaleb, you ask? Well, if you know Kaleb… he is taking it just as you would expect. On his first day in the hospital, he told Tracy, “Mom, I’m really sorry you have to be here and go through all of this.” JUST like Kaleb to be thinking of someone else after being poked and pricked a dozen times. When Tracy and Jason told Kaleb he did indeed have cancer, Tracy broke down crying and said she would do anything to take it from him—that if she could, she would trade places with him. Kaleb responded, “No, Mom. I want you to be ok so you can take care of Mason.” What a kind soul that boy has. Kaleb has continued to be positive and have a good attitude.