In November 2015 after several weeks of a cough and what seemed to be allergies, Kennedy developed a fever so we took her to our local Care Now on a Sunday. The doctor believed she might have pneumonia, so she took and x-ray. However, the picture showed that in addition to what they though was pneumonia, there was some kind of mass in the upper lobe of her right lung.
After about one week of expedited appointments with specialists at Cook Children’s Hospital in Ft. Worth, it was determined that this was probably a benign lung cyst but that it needed to be removed right away. So two days before Kennedy’s 2nd birthday, she had a lobectomy to remove the cyst. However, there turned out to be a cancerous tumor inside of the cyst, and just one day before her birthday, Kennedy was diagnosed with Type 2 Pleuropulmonary Blastoma, an extremely rare pediatric cancer that only about 470 people have ever been diagnosed with worldwide.
The great news surrounding this situation is that Kennedy’s tumor was completely removed and early scans showed no cancer had spread! Even still, she is currently undergoing an aggressive 36-week chemotherapy treatment plan, as well as having extensive sedated body scans under anesthesia every three months until she is five years old.
Other than her hair loss, which Kennedy simply does not care about, you would never know this energetic, funny and extremely talkative little girl has cancer! We are learning that “rare” doesn’t have to mean “worse,” it just means there is less information out there. Kennedy’s case is already being used in a national research study and even being presented at a pediatric oncology convention in May.