St. Vincent Hospital Regional Cancer CenterChildren's Hospital of Wisconsin
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Here's Hunter's story.... One day mid April 2021 he came to me (his mom) n goes mom I have these weird lumps here on my collarbone, I felt them n go yeah that's not normal I'll see when I can get you in to the Dr... We got in a few days later n the nurse practitioner we saw was simply amazing... Dr. Ben goes well we are gonna send you in for some bloodwork n set you up for a biopsy if your bloodwork comes back negative... ( They tested for Lyme's Disease and 4 other tick Bourne diseases) well all came back later so off to the next Dr which was his surgeon to do biopsy... She kept trying to make it out like we just showed up there saying remove these lumps n test them no we were sent here by Dr. Ben... After a couple weeks went by we had the biopsy and received his results this being online that his results were in but nothing stated on there what his results were so I waited very impatiently til 11 that day (May 7th, 2021) before I called asking for them after seeing they were in earlier that morning... Well the surgeon had left with family emergency n the other surgeon was on vacation and I'm like is there anyone in the building that can view and tell me these results cus I want to know now (a Friday) over waiting the weekend out til Monday to get them, and the nurse goes I totally understand I will get someone for you today to read these and get back to you... I was at work and checking my phone religiously and I received the call from the nurse saying I got your results do you want me to read them to you over the phone or in person I said I want them now on the phone, ok you saw it was for leukemia or lymphoma but Hunter tested positive for Hodgkin's Lymphoma I instantly broke down crying n got someone to finish my shift and off to the hospital I went for more information on his diagnosis... The nurse stayed late til I got there n even later to help me through mentally giving hugs n whatever comfort I may have needed as I'm his only parent... So now off to children's in Milwaukee, wi (2 hours away) to start our journey... After more tests n scans We found out it was caught super early and then we're told our treatment plan... Original was gonna be 3 rounds of chemo with possibility of radiation well it turned into 4 rounds of chemo and 14 treatments of radiation... So multiple trips to Milwaukee n stays in a hotel began the beginning of June after his yearly camping n fishing trip in northern Wisconsin n school being out for summer... Not how we wanted to spend our summer vacation that's for sure... So Hunter's chemo was 3 days the 1st week, 1 day the 2nd week n then the 3rd week was our break week n repeat... Well let's just say I hated seeing Hunter sick every time he had his chemo... We had a scare our 2nd week in he spiked a fever the day after chemo so I called children's like our instructions said n i had to take him to our local ER... We got there and they were waiting for us cus children's had contacted them we were on our way... After 4 hours at our local ER we were then to head to Milwaukee cus his cancer team wanted him there after seeing all the tests he went through at home... Hunter n I talked and he goes mom I'll be fine in transport( via non emergency ambulance) you can go home n get what we need don't forget my PlayStation (teenage boys for ya) so I finally arrived in Milwaukee at 11pm we were then taken to a room a lil after midnight... He spent 6 days in the hospital with mom taking a trip home for more clothes n a hefty nap cus what's available to sleep on isn't comfortable! The next 3 rounds went way smoother... He started loosing his hair during his first round that tore me apart as well but once I noticed how strong my son as each day passed it made it a lil easier... His last chemo was mid August then onto radiation n for the next school year to begin... Seeing radiation is a daily 10 min appointment I wanted something closer to home so first we got sent to green bay which is still an hour n 20 mins away we then were able to get something set up in Appleton at St Elizabeth hospital where the radiation Dr in adult center was formally working in green bay in children's n due to his age (15) the radiation team took him in which worked out perfect as that's where he goes to school still 40mins away but I would pick him up from school n take him to radiation n head home after 14 treatments of radiation we had to go back to Milwaukee for a pet scan to make sure everything did what it was supposed to n to have port removed... Nov 14th we were then in the clear in his scans but his blood counts were still a little off so some pill form medication was still needed... Mind you mom had to start back at work then at that time n still here in Feb trying to get things back on track n in order but it's been a struggle... February 21st we had a 3 month follow up n now his blood counts were basically back to normal, his hair has been growing back greatly n now curly he's actually about due for a cut (we will wait til it warms up) I'm pretty sure the hair loss got to him cus the hat didn't leave his head unless it was to shower or change his hat but he even slept in it! We go back in may for another follow up! Thank you for your time and reading Hunter's story