Saturday, August 12, 2006

August 6th-12th: Learning That I Have Cancer

SUNDAY, AUGUST 06, 2006 01:32 PM, PDT

I swam my final event at OMPA - 50 yards butterfly - in my best time yet even though I felt kind of tired.

TUESDAY, AUGUST 08, 2006 01:25 PM, PDT

After a check-up with my doctor earlier in the day I went to have a blood test done in Orinda.

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 09, 2006 11:00 AM, CDT

We were told to go to Children's Hospital Oakland. I was admitted to the hospital and they did a bunch of tests on me. I had a CAT scan and they put an IV in my arm. It was pretty scary and I didn't want to be there. The doctors talked with my parents for a long time outside of my room in the ER.

Later in the day I was taken to a room in the hematology / oncology unit on the 5th floor. I noticed most of the kids here didn't have any hair. I had several blood transfusions to raise my hemoglobin and platelet count.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 10, 2006 09:00 AM, PDT

More tests.

I am taken to the nuclear medicine department to have a kidney scan. I have to wear a mask on my mouth when I leave my room so that I don't pick up any germs.

Around 3:00 in the afternoon I left my room again, this time on a gurney headed for the operating room. I don't really remember very much after that.

Parent's note:

The surgery involved a bone marrow aspiration from his pelvis area, a biopsy of a lymph node in his neck and the placement of a central line in his chest called a Broviac catheter. This port will let the doctors draw blood and give medication without having to poke Keith's arm anymore.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 11, 2006 09:00 AM, PDT

“Still more tests. Back in the wheelchair to go have an ultrasound heart scan and a hearing test. My grandparents Annie and Don and my uncle John arrived today from Michigan and I was really glad to see them.

I already knew that I had a couple of tumors in my body, but this was the day I learned that I have cancer. I was pretty scared to hear this. But I also learned that I can be cured with medication and other treatments. I learned that my hair will fall out because the medicine is so strong.

I wanted to get started right away. I also wanted to see my hair fall out so that I would know that the medicine is working. I am trying hard to be brave.

Heather, a social worker here at the hospital enrolled me in the 'Beads of Courage' program. I get a new bead for every act of bravery. So far I have earned 13 beads.” Keith

Parent's note:

Keith has been diagnosed with Stage 4 neuroblastoma and will begin a regimen of chemotherapy, stem cell harvesting, surgery, bone marrow transplant and probably radiation.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 12, 2006 08:00 AM, PDT

“The dressing to my Broviac was replaced twice today which hurt because the bandages were hard to get off. Also, the bandages where my bone marrow aspirations were taken from my back were also removed and that really hurt.”

Parent's note:

The nurses added another pump and 3 more lines leading to Keith's central line in preparation for the onset of chemotherapy.

No comments: