Hello, first off thanks for visiting Armella's page, we appreciate it!
Armella is one of the sweetest and good hearted 16 year old girls I know. She is going to be a junior this year and loves high school and hanging out with her friends. She is excited for Homecoming and Prom this year. She loves roller blading, swimming, biking, camping, and pretty much anything to do with the outdoors. She really enjoys being around all kinds of pets, her late beagle brothers (Lewis and Clark) and her current cats ("Bear and Dragon").
She was looking forward to starting her first job as a cashier at Scheels All Sports, but has to put that on hold for the time being.
Here is whats happening curently on her summer break:
In mid May, Armella felt a swollen lymph node in her neck. Shortly after, it went down. On May 26, she felt three more swollen lymph nodes in her neck again. Since she wasn't sick at all, we were a bit worried. So, on May 27, we took her to Urgent Care to have it checked out. The doctor that saw her wasn't helpful at all. He put her on an antibiotic and took blood work. He requested that she be seen for a follow up in a couple of weeks. On May 30, the blood work came back that she was low on iron and he suggested her to take iron pills.
Her follow up appointment was with a nurse practitioner on June 12. She had more blood work done to check for mono. That blood work came back negative so she referred us to Ear, Nose, and Throat(ENT).
Her first appointment with ENT was June 28 with Dr. Wright. He ordered a blood test that can tell she if she has ever had mono in her entire life. July 6, we found out that was also negative. We then had to set up a CT Scan. July 24 was her CT Scan and they had the results right away that morning, but met with the doctor on July 26. At that appointment, he told us that she had swollen nodes down into her chest as well and he would have to remove one of the lymph nodes to biopsy it. Her surgery was on August 1. They removed a lymph node and told us it would be a week until they would have the results. On August 4, they called us in to discuss the results of the biopsy.
Dr. Wright told us that she has Hodgkins Lymphoma.
He told us that the Oncologist's nurse was there and she came in to talk to us and answer any questions she could. Fortunately, the Oncologist(Dr. Abbi), was able to see us that same day.
Dr. Abbi told us that she will have to have chemo. They told us that the next few weeks are going to be full of appointments for her. She has to have a pulmonary test, PET Scan, an echo, and of course, her post-op appointment with Dr. Wright. We will have to go to Madison to talk to a pediatric oncologist for a second opinion, she has to have a port inserted under her skin for the chemo treatments, an appointment with an OB/GYN for her fertility preservation, and follow ups and PET Scan results with Dr. Abbi. Depending on what the PET Scan shows, she may require a bone marrow biopsy. Let's pray that she doesn't need that!!!!
Armella is the strongest, bravest person I know. I wish I could be like her. She is a role model for me. I know that is backwards, but I have always admired her and now, she continues to amaze me at how tough she really is!!
I will keep you updated as appointments happen and as we get results.
- Neil & Kristin Surk
- Lora Matz
- Tara Courtney