Friday, September 14, 2012
Day 1 of 29 day Induction Phase
BJ was diagnosed with B-cell ALL type Leukemia. Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a form of leukemia, or cancer of the white blood cells characterized by excess lymphoblasts.
Dr. Oesterheld said he wanted me to hear these words...cureable, cureable, cureable. He said that 98% of their patients are in complete remission in 4 weeks. He said BJ would continue treatment for 3 years because there is a high rate of recurrence. He said that I got him in there when he needed to be there, and there was nothing that we did to cause this or nothing we could have done to prevent it from happening. Based on BJ's presentation, he believed that he has had the Leukemia for 4-6 weeks.
BJ would not be able to attend school for 6 months. He would also not be able to finish out this football season. BJ cried over these two things. He really wants to play football with his team, and doesn't want to get behind in school. I reminded him that he is still a part of the team, and that when we can, we will go watch them play. I also told him that we will do what we can to make sure he doesn't fall behind in school.
This morning, after I signed the consent forms for the procedure, I
talked to BJ. I told him that the doctor thinks he has leukemia. He
asked what it was, and I told him that it just meant that his blood was
sick, and that they were going to do what they could to fix it. And that
they said chances were really good that they could fix it. That was one
of the hardest conversations I have had to have. I couldn't bring
myself to tell him that it was cancer. I didn't want to say that word,
and I didn't want him to think for one minute that he would die from
BJ was scheduled for a bone marrow aspiration and a spinal tap, where they inject Ara-C (a chemotherapy drug) into his spinal fluid, and also remove some spinal fluid for testing. He had never been under anesthesia before, so I was concerned about his reactions to it. We were able to be in there with him while he went under the anesthesia, and he just rolled his eyes backward and said "oh my gosh"...
He did well with both procedures. Later we were told that there were no abnormal cells in his spinal fluid. That was incredible news and I thanked God for that.
He finally got to eat something after we got him back to his room. He was starving and ate pretty good. It was good to see him sitting up and eating well, and still with good color in his face.