We knew something was wrong. After several tests and procedures, we waited. We tried to enjoy our 24th anniversary on August 8th, but it was like an uninvited guest had joined our dinner date. Two days later, the storm hit.
August 10, 2016 – Diagnosis. Day one. Shock and tears.
Here is a version of the messages we had to send to family and friends:
Patrick had a biopsy after some swollen lymph nodes would not go away. This all started last spring after he got a minor chest cold/sore throat and they swelled up. Antibiotics over the summer got them down, but not gone. He kept going back to the ENT saying something was wrong and finally the ENT did a needle biopsy, which suggested lymphoma. On 8/4 he had a few lymph nodes in his neck removed. The biopsy report was confirmed by the surgery pathology report — “Mantle cell lymphoma”, a rare type of non-hodgkins and usually in men 60+ years old. The Internet can be a gloomy place so I suggest you don’t google it, but if you MUST, then only read stuff from 2016, bc there has been tremendous progress with treatments and even trials just this year. We can fight this, it is not a losing battle. For one thing, there is NO statistic on Patrick Burke!!! He’s his own story and we all know he’s well, amazing!!! He’s a superhero. God has plans for him and for our family still to come for many years.
Right now, I can’t answer any more questions so there isn’t much point in asking them. We have an appointment on Tuesday at 1pm in Houston at MD Anderson with a man named Dr. Michael Wang. He is a WORLD expert and lead researcher on this exact thing. Through two miracles that would blow your mind, Dr Wang agreed to see Patrick within 24 hours of us getting the news. Dr Wang was at a lecture in Miami, not even in his office, AND he had to get approval to overbook his schedule — but TWO different friends of ours stepped in (separately if you can believe that) and knew the right people and made it happen. Please pray this doctor is all we hope and need him to be, that he gives us the direction we need AND that he is open to our holistic plans to work alongside the wonderful but toxic modern medicine we will surely need. He’s Chinese so I’m hoping he’s all about that eastern medicine. and carrot juicing.
Please pray for Olivia and Isabelle as they head into their busy senior and junior years, that they can hopefully still feel normal and have fun in their day to day activities, and that we are able to be present for them, despite what could be a lot of traveling between here and Houston. It’s about 4 hours each way, but we don’t care, we feel fortunate to have MD Anderson that “close”.