Hodgkin lymphoma (HL)
Celeste is my daughter; she was 10 years old when she was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma (HL). She had a cough for about two months that just would not go away, and we thought it was her seasonal asthma coming back, so we made an appointment with her pulmonologist. At the appointment, her doctor paid careful attention to everything we were saying and ordered a chest X-ray that showed a large mass in her chest.
We went straight to Boston Children's Hospital and then on to treatment at The Jimmy Fund.
Because of the mass in her chest, Celeste couldn't get a port right away and had to get IVs for the first two full cycles of chemo. She was very brave, but it filled her with anxiety every time she went in, not knowing how many times it would take to get a good IV, and it hurt! Thankfully she had a port for her last four rounds of chemo.
Celeste also had to have radiation. She was the youngest patient to do MRI-guided radiation at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Through all of it, Celeste kept her sense of humor. She had moments of tears, moments of anxiety, and moments of feeling like this whole experience was just fundamentally unfair, but overall, she stayed positive and was always smiling and chatty during treatment.
As parents, we are just so proud of her resilience, but we wish she didn't have to display that resilience in quite this way.
Celeste had her end-of-treatment PET scan in September, and there is still one spot that is lighting up a little. It could be a residual disease, but it could also be a reaction from the radiation. Since we don't know, we are in a holding pattern until mid-December when she will have another scan. For now, she is enjoying 6th grade and living her life as normally as possible, but this still hangs over her head as it does for all cancer patients.
Story written by parent.