Originally Posted by Chiefaholic
The specific cancer he had was a stage 2 - Non-Hodgkins - Nodal Marginal Zone lymphoma cancer. It started with a small lump on his rright jaw just below his right ear. My daughter took him to his regular doctor and at that time he was diagnosed as having an infected salivary gland. The medication wasn't working and the lump under his skin was growing rapidly. So we took him to a specialist, they identified it as cancer and sent a sample to St. Judes in Memphis. When the lab work identified what specific type of cancer he had, the doctors removed the growth on his lymph gland in his jaw, but found five more on the back of his next ranging in size from a pea to a nickle. His doctor, Dr. Remi Pasipe, is a very intelligent lady who's been in the field for a long time and REALLY knew her stuff. She sat us down and explained in detail what he had, that chemo was the only option at his age, and that this specific cancer is the most common and had an 80% success rate at the stage we caught it in.
Cody (my grandson) had been going through regular chemo treatments roughly every three weeks. We checked his blood count weekly (occasionally bi-weekly) to watch his ANC count, WBC (white Blood Cell), RBC (Red Blood Cells), Hemoglobin, Platelets, etc. If his levels drop too low, he's extremely prone to infections, bacteria, and viruses. To keep his count up, I had to give him a Neupogen shot daily when the doctor requested me to do so. As a grandparent, it was really hard at first because he didn't understand why we were giving him shots. But, over time, he understood what we were doing and even asked if I was going to "poke his leg" and get his Sesame Street bandaid. When the nurse would use a lancet to prick his finger, he ask her if she was, "going to milk the cow" the last few times. Now all he has is one more chemo treatment, have his G-Tube and Pic Line removed, and get his blood count back to normal again. Then he'll have to do a check-up every three months for a while and gradually increase the time periods between checkups. I don't know all the specifics at this time on the frequency of check-ups.
Regardless, this little fella is tough as nails, and I'm one proud "Papa". I'm looking forward to many trips to the lake to go fishing, football at Arrowhead, and baseball at Busch stadium.