Garrett's story written by Ashley:
So about one month ago we took Garrett to the dentist to have some dental work done in a cavity, everything went well and there were no complications. We noticed later that afternoon/evening that he had what looked like a swollen lymph node on his neck under the right side of his chin line. We spoke with the dentist and they determined that it was not related to the work he had done that day. We kept an eye on it for the next couple of days and decided to have it looked at on Thursday of that same week. He was seen at Mayo Clinic in Red Wing, they took blood samples, did an x-ray as well as an ultrasound. Everything came back clear with the exception of some elevated liver levels, they were not sure at that point what was causing the lymph node to become so swollen. They put in a referral for us to visit Mayo Clinic-Rochester. Our first appointment was scheduled for Monday, July, 17, 2017. We noticed on Sunday, July, 16, 2017 as we were having a relaxing afternoon at home that Garrett was starting to look a little jaundice, especially the whites of his eyes. We reached out to Rochester and they determined it was not an emergency and to come to our scheduled appointment the following day. Monday came and we met with a pediatric ear, nose, and throat specialist, she gave Garrett a quick look over and put in a call for us to meet with a pediatric GI specialist that same day as well as scheduled a CT scan of his head and neck . We met with the pediatric GI specialist and she decided she wanted us to get in for more blood work as well as an ultrasound of his abdomen. We ended our Monday with having done blood work followed by the CT scan and we're able to go home. We were up early the next day for our ultrasound appointment, the ultrasound took a little over one hour. We followed up with the GI doctor after the ultrasound in case there were other tests she wanted to have done. We were waiting to give a urine sample when the GI doctor called said there were some preliminary findings on his ultrasound that she was concerned about, we were to skip our tests and head straight for St. Mary's where there would be a bed waiting for us. After being admitted on Tuesday, we had a CT scan done of his abdomen and was then scheduled to have surgery to remove the lymph node. Surgery was set for Thursday early afternoon, everything went well and the lymph node was sent off for testing. After a nerve racking week, Addison and I had to sit down with our 8 year old son and tell him that he has cancer. Garrett was diagnosed with B-Cell Lymphoma on Thursday, July 20, 2017 and our world felt like it came crashing down around us. How could this sweet little boy who would never hurt a fly and is always willing to help his friends and is the best role model a little sister could ask for is now be fighting for his life?
Garrett was scheduled for another surgery on Saturday, July, 22nd to get a spinal fluid and bone marrow sample to check and make sure that the cancer cells have not spread. We should have results back within the next couple of days but his team of doctors are very hopeful everything will come back clear as this was caught very early. Garrett also had a central line put into the left side of his chest and that is where he will receive his chemo treatments as well as any blood draws for testing. This is going to be a very long, bumpy 6 month ride but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. As of now we are looking at an additional two weeks down at St. Mary's and hope to be home soon Garrett can enjoy the rest of his summer.
- Ted Caplan
- Sonia Ferezan
Organizer and beneficiary
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